New Delhi: In his first major move to improve quality control in its procurement of wagons that sustains a whole lot of industries, railway minister Suresh Prabhu has decided to introduce rating of wagon makers for the first time based on quality of their supplies.
Such ratings would be the basis for future allotment of orders to them and is being introduced on an experimental basis during the current procurement process, sources said. Companies like Titagarh Wagons, Texmaco, CIMMCO, Jessop, Amtek Railcar, BurnStandard, Braithwaite, Hindustan Engineering, Bharat Wagons and Jupiter Wagons are the regular suppliers of wagons to the railways.
To give a serious push to this initiative, such quality ratings would have to be displayed and painted on each of the wagons supplied to the railways by the companies. “The railways have introduced a system of wagon quality rating in which each wagon going out of manufacturing facility against any Railway order is being rated by Research Design and Standard Organisation against an objective quality score sheet after completion of regular inspection,” an official told.
The railways is currently in the process of procuring 8,500 wagons and the selection process in currently on. The majority of these wagons are of the variety BOXNHL and BCNHL wagons which have been cleared for running of 75 kmph in loaded and 100 kmph in empty condition thereby generating more throughput.
The system of wagon quality rating will be given a dummy trial in the current cycle of purchase and this quality index would be one of the factors for deciding the quantum of second tranche of wagon orders in contracts placed in next cycle of purchase of wagons, the Railway Board has told the wagon suppliers.
As per current norms, 55% of the total quantity are distributed among eligible regular wagon manufacturers on the basis of respective average annual production of previous five completed years and the remaining 45% is given out among lowest price bidders L-1, L-2 and L-3 in the ratio of 50:30:20, industry sources said. But in the next order, the quality rating would also become a deciding factor.
Rating would be given on a scale of 100 and the actual score achieved by a wagon will be maintained by RDSO inspection and painted on the end wall of wagon by the manufacturer. Each month, an overall average monthly quality score for each manufacturer across all plants would be calculated by RDSO and detailed score sheets will have to be submitted to Railway Board on a monthly basis. For the period 2015-19, the railways plans to spend Rs 10,200 crore in procuring rolling stock including wagons, locomotives and coaches as disclosed by Prabhu during his budget speech for FY16.