Centre waiting for State to hand over 10 more acres for work to start on facility
The Indian Railways and the South Central Railway (SCR) have been planning for a wagon repair or ‘Periodical Wagon Overhauling Workshop or ‘POH’ in Kazipet and not a wagon manufacturing unit. Another 10 more acres is yet to be handed over by the State government for the work to begin, clarified senior railway officials on Sunday.
“The idea of having a full fledged wagon manufacturing unit was dumped long time ago. Wagon overhauling unit was initially proposed to be set up in Secunderabad and later, it was decided to shift to Kazipet and the government was requested to allot 160 acres,” they informed.
The wagon repair unit was part of the assurance given to the State as part of the AP Reorganisation Act and the government here initially could hand over about 54 acres only due to litigation as the land belonged to the Endowments Department with many farmers tilling it. “It was only in January that 150.5 acres in total was given to us by the government following land acquisition and 10 more acres is required,” they explained.
Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy during his December visit to Kazipet said the ₹383 crore wagon repair unit would have a capacity of repairing 200 wagons a month. It would take two years and three months from the commencement of works to get ready and sought expediting land acquisition.
Senior railway officials, not willing to be identified, stated that ₹200 crore was allocated in the railway budget two years ago expecting an imminent transfer of land but as this did not happen, the funds were utilised elsewhere. This year, the budget allocation has been a token ₹2 crore. “Any decision of starting work on the wagon repair unit will have to be taken by the Railway Board during the mid-year review,” they said.
The issue got highlighted in recent times when Minister for Municipal Administration, IT and Industries K.T. Rama Rao criticised the Central government for the ‘delay’ in starting work on the wagon factory.
This was in response to the Railways Minister Piyush Goyal tweet of a video announcing development of Marathwada Rail Coach Factory at Latur in Maharashtra, set up at a cost of ₹625 crore on 350 acres land and capable of producing 250 coaches per annum.
Source: Read Full Article