By Elton Gomes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of a rail coach refurbishing factory at Sonepat in Haryana. The Prime Minister inaugurated the Rail Coach Refurbishing Karkhana on his visit to Haryana. The rail project is set to be a major industrial initiative for Haryana as it will provide repair as well as a maintenance facility for train coaches of Indian Railways.
The Rail Coach Refurbishing Factory will be set up at a cost of Rs 500 crore at Barhi in Sonipat district. PM Modi said that the factory will not only aid Sonipat but also provide an impetus to Haryana’s industrial growth.
Earlier, in April, the Tribune reported that the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation (HSIIDC) decided to transfer 121 acres of land to the Railways for the factory. It was proposed that the factory would be designed to refurbish at least 500-700 rail coaches every year.
Sources told the Tribune that technical glitches between the Railways and the HSIIDC had been resolved, and it was finally decided that the land would be transferred at a rate of Rs 1,000 per acre per year to the Railways for a lease period of 99 years.
How will the factory help Haryana
After the Rail Coach Refurbishing Karkhana has been built at Sonepat, Haryana will witness periodical overhaul (POH) as well as refurbishment of around 250 railway coaches per year.
The rail coach factory will be equipped with modern machinery and a plant, which will have environment-friendly measures. Besides highlighting the railway sector in Haryana, the coach factory will generate jobs for the people of Haryana. Additionally, it will accelerate the overall development of the state.
Industrial development to be boosted, says PM Modi
In his visit to Haryana, Modi said 250 passenger train coaches will be repaired and modernised every year at the factory. He added that coaches will no longer have to be sent to factories located in far-off places.
“With this factory, the availability of passenger coaches will also increase and people will get the benefit of comfortable coaches,” he said at a public meeting in Sampla, PTI reported.
“Small industries will also benefit with the setting up of this factory as they will be able to supply seat covers, fans, electrical fittings, etc,” Modi said. “The youth will get several employment opportunities,” he added. He also said that the coach factory will help employees in developing special skills.
Modi added that the factory will help engineers and technicians in developing local expertise: “Engineers and technicians will be able to develop local expertise because of this rail coach factory. In the coming days, these experts will be able to provide services to other parts of the country,” he said, as per the PTI report.
What else is the Railways planning
A senior railway official recently said that the Modern Coach Factory is planning to increase its production capacity from 1000 railway coaches per annum to 2000 railway coaches. In addition, the Factory has proposed to invest Rs 480 crore to accommodate the expansion.
The plan is to reach the target of 2000 railway coaches per year by 2020-2021. The railway official said that the current plan is awaiting sanction from the Railway Board.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius