New Delhi: RITES, a PSU of Railway Ministry, on Tuesday signed a joint venture agreement with the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) for setting up a multi-crore wagon manufacturing factory at Kulti near Asansol in Bardhaman district of West Bengal.
The agreement was signed in the presence of union minister of steel Virbhadra Singh, chairman, Railway Board Vivek Sahai and other senior officials from both the ministries.
“Railways is the future of the transportation system and growth in railways is encouraging,” Sahai told reporters at the ceremony.
He said there are many ongoing rail infrastructure projects, including Dedicated Freight Corridor, which is being undertaken by the railways.
The proposed wagon manufacturing unit will be equipped to handle 1,500 wagons (manufacture of 1,200 wagons and rehabilitation of 300 wagons) in a year.
“Railways is the backbone of the country and doing a tremendous service. Steel production is also going to increase in time to come. More rail expansion means more steel is required,” secretary, steel ministry, P K Mishra said.
During the rail budget 2010, Railway Ministry had proposed to set up the state-of-the-art wagon manufacturing factories in joint venture at five locations - Secunderabad, Bhubaneswar/Kalahandi, Bardhaman, Haldia and Guwahati.
RITES entered into an MoU in May this year for setting up a wagon manufacturing factory at Kulti near Asansol in West Bengal. A feasibility study was undertaken for setting up wagon manufacturing factory in joint venture between SAIL and RITES.
The proposed joint venture company will procure steel, cast-steel bogies, couplers on market determined prices through tenders.
The factory will also have the capacity to manufacture BOXN-type wagons, including specialised high-end wagons and modern stainless steel wagons with marginal investment in plant and machinery.
The project cost is envisaged to be around Rs 85 crores in Phase-I going upto Rs 120 crore in Phase-II.