While 2014 Lok Sabha Elections are apt approaching, UPA tries to speed up projects in VIP constituencies
Railways on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with steel ministry’s public sector unit, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), to fast-track the wheel factory project in Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s Raebareli.
Ministers from both participating ministries, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge and Steel Minister Benipersad Verma, were present to oversee the signing ceremony. The Rs 960-crore forged wheel factory was announced in the current budget and within a short period, railways arranged the resources. The state government has already provided 40 acres of land in Raebareli. RINL will invest the entire cost under assured off-take for around 26 years.
Only 10 days ago, Sonia Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) coach factory in Bhiwara to strengthen her confidant and a state heavyweight C P Joshi. The foundation laying programme was to be organised sometime in October, but keeping in view the assembly elections in Rajasthan, it was advanced.
The Rs.1000-crore MEMU project is in partnership with the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). The project took off during Joshi’s brief tenure in the ministry and an MoU was signed without delay.
However, the Rs.600 crore rail coach factory in Palakkad in Kerala was pushed behind. The CPM government gave 400 acres of land in 2009 on the condition that it would be a joint venture of railways with a government PSU.