Rae Bareli: Reviewing the progress in the proposed forged wheel factory at Rae Bareli, Railway Minister C P Joshi today asked officials to expedite the project so that it is completed within a schedule of 36 months.
Railways had signed an agreement with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd, a navratna PSU under the Steel Ministry, for setting up the factory at 27 acres of land near the existing Rail Coach Factory at Lalgung in Rae Bareli — the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Coming up with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore, the factory will supply forged wheels to the Railways and will have a capacity of producing 1,00,000 wheels every year.
“The Rae Bareli wheel plant project was discussed in the meeting at the Railway Board. The Railway minister was briefed about the progress. The minister sought to expedite the project so that it is completed within a schedule of 36 months,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.
The two factories will generate employment opportunities in the area. A new colony will come up for the factory employees.
The proposed factory at Rae Bareli will be the biggest wheel plant in India. It is expected to provide jobs for about 600 people.
At present, Railways need about 70,000 wheels annually. A little over 70 per cent of the demand is met through imports, roughly at a cost of around Rs 70,000 per wheel.
“The demand for such wheels is set to go up to one lakh by 2016-17 as more wagons and coaches would be pressed into service in the coming years,” he said.
Apart from the usual requirement for coaches and locomotives, forged wheels are also required for high-speed application in Railways.