VISAKHAPATNAM: The much-anticipated wagon periodical overhauling (WPO) workshop of Indian Railways in Visakhapatnam is scheduled to be completed by December 2019. The railway ministry has granted Rs 150 crore for the project in the 2018-19 railway budget.
The project was sanctioned in the 2015-16 railway budget at a cost of Rs 214 crore. The ministry initially sanctioned Rs 30 crore in the same budget to start the work. Later, it sanctioned another Rs 80 crore in the present fiscal, and Rs 150 crore in the 2018-19 railway budget.
The WPO is one of the major projects of Indian Railways. The state has only one such workshop in Vijayawada. The one in Vizag will be second and first modern workshop with advanced facilities in the state if it is completed as per schedule (Dec 2019).
The importance of the project is that the workshop can handle nearly 200 wagons at a time in generation, repair and maintenance. Wagons of passenger trains, goods trains and oil tankers can be handled by the workshop, which will be equipped with modern facilities and machineries.
MS Mathur, Divisional Railway Manager, Waltair railway division of East Coast Railway Zone, told: “The work order has already been given and construction is on. The project is scheduled to be completed by December 2019. It is a prestigious project of Waltair division.”
According to railway sources, though the workshop project was announced in the 2015-16 railway budget, the foundation stone was laid in 2017. The project was delayed due to various reasons, which includes some decisions taken by the railway board in the last two years. As per railway board’s instructions, the project’s authorised ownership was preliminarily changed from East Coast Railway Zone to Workshop Project Organisation at Patna. Again, the ownership of the executing agency was changed to Railway Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL). “The RVNL has already done a detailed estimation and the work order has been given to a contractor. The works are on in full swing,” Mathur clarified.
The workshop is coming up at Vadlapudi, near Duvvada satellite railway station under Waltair division of ECoR. The state has only one such workshop at Vijayawada. The Vizag workshop will be second in the state, and the first modern workshop with advanced facilities. “The WPO is a major project of railways. It will be a boon to Vizag, which is being developed as a smart city,” Mathur added.