‘Make in India’ initiative: Delhi Metro rides high

New Delhi: When it comes to “Make in India”, the Delhi Metro is already walking the talk. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said 90% of its trains are being manufactured in India. And a case in point is Phase III. Of 846 coaches that have been ordered for this phase, only 120 are from Korea. The rest have been manufactured in the country.

That’s not all. These trains, made in India, are being exported abroad too, like to the Queensland and Sydney Metro systems in Australia.

“We have been consistently increasing the number of indigenous trains in the system,” said Delhi Metro’s director, rolling stock, H S Anand. Of 1,234 coaches in Phase I and II, 36 were from Germany and 64 were from Korea.

The DMRC said over the last 10 years, it has been able to keep the capital cost for procurement of these coaches at a consistent level. “These costs are substantially lower than the cost of Metro coaches world over,” said DMRC spokesman, Anuj Dayal. For instance, while the capital cost of a coach is around Rs 8.94 crore in India, the cost in Vancouver is Rs 16.08 crore and in San Francisco is Rs 15.13 crore.

Mangu Singh, the DMRC head, said, “Delhi Metro’s initiative to indigenize the manufacturing of its trains and ancillary technologies is in consonance with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government of India.”

The reason why the Delhi Metro has been going local is because, due to because of contract conditions mandating indigenization have resulted in major coach manufacturing companies setting up production facilities within the country.

“The conditions in the DMRC train contracts mandate a cap on upper limit of 25% for production abroad, while the balance of the contract order has necessarily to be manufactured in India either through tie ups or a wholly-owned subsidiary,” the Delhi Metro spokesman said. That the quality remains high in these local manufacturing cases is a given, officials added.

In fact, three Metro coach manufacturing units have set up their base in India. These are Bombardier Transportation in Savli, Gujarat, state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited in Bengaluru, and Alstom, which has established a new facility at Sricity near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

Besides manufacturing coaches in the country, 18 major sub-systems of these coaches have also been indigenized in the country in a phased manner. “This has led to a lot of in-house ancillary industry and skilled manpower development. Window glasses, battery boxes, brake blocks, bogie frames, vacuum circuit breakers, HVACs, propulsion etc are being manufactured in India now,” the spokesman said.