Indian Railways says its existing production units will not be hit by the government’s plan to set up new facilities to make locomotives and coaches on a joint venture basis.
Till date, the Railways has fully-owned production units to produce locomotives, coaches and wheels.“Nobody wants to build new things at the cost of old one. We are going for a major expansion. We are building the dedicated freight corridor, which will create huge track capacity. These locomotives will be used in the new freight corridors,” said Navin Tandon, Member-Electrical, Railway Board.
For the recently concluded bids for two new locomotives and one coach factory with 26 per cent ownership, GE and Alstom Transport have emerged winners. The winning bidder will provide 74 per cent stake and technology to build factories.
Similarly, the Railways plans to set up a coach factory in Kachhrapara on a joint venture basis.
“Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Diesel Locomotive Works Varanasi, Integral Coach Factory Chennai, Rail Coach factory at Kapurthala and Rail Coach Factory at Rae Bareilly will continue to do the work they are doing. Three new factories will also continue to operate,” said Tandon.
Moreover, opportunities for railway officials already employed in factories cannot be ruled out. On whether Alstom would be hiring people from production units of the Indian Railways, Bharat Salhotra, Managing Director, Alstom Transport India, said “No, I don’t think we would be doing that as we have our own processes. But, at the same time we are always looking for good people from within the country and outside. And let’s not forget, this is not just Alstom, this is Alstom and Indian Railways partnership.”