Ministry of Railways to invest about Rs 2,000 Crore for expansion
NEW DELHI: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today said Indian Railways will be making an investment of around Rs 2,000 crore, in the next couple of years, for expansion of its various manufacturing units across the country. The capacity of the Rae Bareli coach factory alone is expected to be increased five times to 5,000 coaches per year, the minister said at a CII event in New Delhi. However, he did not divulge the timeline for the same.
The Indian Railways manufacturing capacity from its three factories — Intergral Coach Factory, Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh) and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala (Punjab) is expected to be ramped up to 7,000-8,000 LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch – named after its German supplier) coaches from the current 4,000 coaches.
At present, around 51,000 Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) coaches and 5,500 LHB coaches are made in the Kapurthala factory.
“A major part of the investment would go to the ICF in Chennai,” Ravindra Gupta, Member (Rolling Stock), Railway Board told reporters in New Delhi.
According to Gupta, infrastructure improvement at the Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli is expected to take about one-and-a-half years or so and a similar time horizon for ICF is also expected. Once the modernisation work is complete, Indian Railways would be in a position to ramp up its LHB manufacturing capacity to 7,000-8,000 coaches from the current 4,000.
However, he added that Indian Railways’ expansion plan would be complete by mid 2019-20.
Indian Railways has decided to shift to LHB coaches, but increasing production requires a sharp ramp up from the present annual coach production target of 2,435 coaches. The vendor capacity also needs to be increased accordingly. To this, Gupta said that the Railways was working towards increasing its vendor base.
Meanwhile, on the overall improvement of Indian Railways, Goyal said efficiency in operations and timely payments can save up to 30-40 per cent of the procurement cost for Railways.
The Railways procures material worth more than Rs 50,000 crore annually to cater to the needs for production and maintenance of rolling stocks, signaling, tracks and fuel. It had also identified a few high-value items, including high-speed diesel, where significant savings can be made during the current financial year (2017-18).
The Railways procures high-speed diesel worth Rs 15,000 crore a year and is the single largest buyer of diesel in the country.
Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli
Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli (earlier Rail Coach Factory, Raebareli) is a rail coach manufacturing unit of the Indian Railways at Lalganj near Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh. The factory is the third facility in India that produces railway compartments besides the Integral Coach Factory at Perambur in Tamil Nadu and the Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala in Punjab. The factory was inaugurated by the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on November 7, 2012.
The project was approved in the Supplementary Railway Budget for 2006-07. Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone for the factory in February, 2007 and land acquisition for the project commenced in April, 2007. However, in 2008, following the victory of the Bahujan Samaj Party in the Uttar Pradesh elections of 2007, the new government under Chief Minister Mayawati cancelled the land deed for the factory halting construction work there. The Allahabad High Court permitted the project to proceed after a public interest litigation petition was filed before it. In January 2009, construction of the factory began again which was inaugurated once again by Sonia Gandhi. The same month, Indian Railways signed a 99-year land lease agreement with the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The delay led to the cost of the project rising from an initially estimated ₹1685 crores to about ₹2500 crores
The factory has come up on a total area of 541 hectares of land of which 283 was acquired from private parties. The factory was constructed by the IRCON INTERNATIONAL LIMITED (IRCON). 1450 jobs are to be given to families that were affected by the land acquisition besides the compensation package and the Lucknow Division of the Northern Railways is expected to generate another 1000 job opportunities as a result of the factory becoming operational. The factory adheres to stringent pollution control norms for curbing air pollution and spillage of oils and employs fume and sewage neutralisation syste.
The factory is expected to manufacture 1000 Linke Holfmann Busch (LHB) coaches annually.
Anubhuti coaches, which are state of the art LHB coaches featuring ergonomically designed cushioned seats, LCD screens, modular toilets and stylish interiors, announced in the Railway Budget of 2013 are to be produced at the Rae Bareli coach factory. These coaches will progressively be introduced on the Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express train.