Highlighting the opportunities for partnering with the Government, Goyal pointed out a wide range of smart solutions from industry which have helped the national transporter to complete and clear a backlog of 200 infrastructure projects held up for years.
Indian Railways (IR) will target to manufacture 8000 locomotives, coaches and wagons in FY22, up from likely 5,000 in FY21 at a cost of Rs 40,000 crore. The transporter had manufactured 7,000 locomotives, wagons and coaches in FY20, but the pandemic slowed the production at its coach factories in the current financial year.
Piyush Goyal, minister of commerce & industry and railways, on Thursday sought industry collaboration and investment in transforming Railways into a smart organisation. “I want Railways to be a modern, agile, safe, reliable part of the economy and make technology the overarching support system for logistics and transport in both passenger and freight business,” Goyal said, addressing the ‘Smart Railway Conclave’ organised by FICCI.
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Highlighting the opportunities for partnering with the Government, Goyal pointed out a wide range of smart solutions from industry which have helped the national transporter to complete and clear a backlog of 200 infrastructure projects held up for years. “A cargo train from Mumbai reaches Guwahati in approximately two and a half days compared to the earlier timeline of seven days. It has been a collective effort of industry and Railways which has helped to drive changes like faster speed for freight trains, extensive electrification of tracks to aid in total elimination of diesel ecosystem and shift from single tracks to double tracking,” Goyal said.
Replying to queries on IR’s plan to seek benefits from the PLI scheme announced by the government for 10 key sectors as incentive to enhance India’s manufacturing capabilities and enhance exports, AK Chandra, executive director for mechanical/TC, Railway Board, said IR is a strong contender for the PLI incentive. Industry feels that some part of that benefit could come into the railway sector, in areas like speciality steel and components. This would help IR to compete with roadways which commands the bulk of automobile freight, a sector which has got `57,000-crore PLI incentive.
“We will certainly put forward our case very strongly. Productivity has always been at the forefront of our plans for manufacturing, in our rolling stock companies,” he said.
Uday Shankar, president, FICCI, noted that IR has been pushing the envelope on customer-centricity through initiatives like freight on priority and redesign of the freight development portal which will also be a step forward in enhancing ease of doing business and encouraging digitisation.