The Railways Ministry has reduced the size of global tender for rail tracks to 4.87 lakh tonne from 7 lakh tonnes (LT) earlier, an official source said. State-run Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), which has been the sole supplier of rails to the Railways so far, will supply the remaining quantity. The railways ministry had recently floated the global tender to procure 7 lakh tonnes of rails worth Rs 3,500 crore for expediting track renewal. “The tender has been reduced to 4.87 LT,” a railway ministry official told PTI. SAIL has stepped up its production and increased supplies, the official said. M C Agrawal, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs Division, SAIL, said, “Our rail mill in Bhilai is producing rail in full swing and we will increase production. Hence, the supply will also improve.” Under an MoU, SAIL is the only steel maker which had been supplying rails to the Railways. It manufactures 260-metre long rails at its Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) in Chhattisgarh. With the global tender, the Railways has now invited private players and international companies to supply rail tracks. Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) is the only domestic private player that has the experience in rail making and it has confirmed its interest in the tender.
“We are fully prepared and well equipped. We can make early deliveries compared to any other player. If we bag the tender today, we can start making deliveries in just three weeks. It would take much longer for a foreign firm to start making deliveries. JSPL has a capacity to supply over 50,000 mt rail per month.” Naushad Ansari, CEO Steel Business, JSPL, had said earlier. JSPL has a plant at Raigarh with a capacity to produce 1 million tonnes of rails.