RITES, a public sector unit of Indian Railways, will sign an agreement with Steel Authority of India (SAIL) on Tuesday to set up a wagon manufacturing factory at Kulti in West Bengal. The factory will have a capacity to manufacture 1,200 wagons per annum.
“The project cost is envisaged to be around Rs 85 crore in phase I going up to Rs 120 crore in phase-II,” the railway ministry said. The agreement will be signed by SAIL director (finance) Soilesh Bhattacharya and RITES MD VK Aggarwal in the presence of steel minister Virbhadra Singh and railway board chairman Vivek Sahai.
In addition to manufacturing 1,200 wagons, the factory will have the capacity to rehabilitate 300 wagons. The factory can manufacture BOXN type wagons including specialised high-end wagons, the ministry said. It can also undertake manufacturing modern stainless steel wagons with marginal investment in plant and machinery, the release stated.
As per sources, SAIL will provide its surplus land at Kulti for construction of the factory. Railways has planned to increase the supply of wagons by procuring 18,000 units this fiscal.
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee has also announced plans to set up five wagon factories in joint venture or PPP mode at Secunderabad, Barddhaman, Bhubaneshwar/Kalahandi, Guwahati and Haldia.
Railways has also issued draft wagon investment policy to encourage companies to invest in wagons so as to increase the availability of wagons with the national transporter.