Railways to execute three big-ticket projects

February 23rd, 2009 - 11:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) The cabinet Monday gave its approval to the Indian Railways to execute on its own three big-ticket projects, including a rail coach factory at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, due to lack of suitable partners for joint ventures.
Besides the Rae Bareli factory, approval was also given to the Madhopura Electric Locomotive Factory in Bihar and the Mohowra Diesel Locomotive Works in West Bengal.

Briefing reporters after a cabinet meeting, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the railways would be spending Rs.1,685 crore (Rs.16.85 billion) on the Rae Bareli venture.

“In the case of the Madhopura venture, the response for a joint venture partner has been poor, perhaps because of the meltdown. This will now be executed departmentally,” Chidambaram said.

“Initially, 50 locomotives of 12,000 HP will be imported before manufacture commences after transfer of technology,” he added.

The railways will spend Rs.18,000 crore on the project, which will manufacture 1,000 locomotives, many of which will be used on the proposed western and eastern dedicated freight corridors.

In the case of the Rs.2,052 crore Mohowra unit, the railways will initially import 50 locomotives of between 4,500 and 6,000 HP before production commences.

The cabinet and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) were in an overdrive during their back-to-back meetings, clearing a staggering 60 agenda items during the three-hour meeting.

This is the first time in recent times that the cabinet and the CCEA have cleared so many items at a single meeting.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee presided over the meeting in the absence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is recuperating from coronary bypass surgery.

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