In a mega order of more than Rs 31,000 crore, Indian Railways has floated a tender for procurement of 90,000 wagons, for unhindered transportation of coal, cement and food grains among other goods to achieve loading target of 5 million tonnes per day.
The procurement is being planned for 90,000 different types of wagons, a first in the rail sector for such a huge order, with an estimated value of Rs 31,500 crore for getting supply in the next three years.
The floating of Rs 31,500 crore tender is part of the railways’ big push in the infrastructure sector as promised in the 2022-23 Budget.
While 42,000 wagons are meant for coal transportation, 40,000 wagons are for cement and foodgrains and the rest are for other goods.
The existing capacity of wagon manufacturers are about 30,000 wagons per annum, but they could not manufacture up to their capacities as past annual procurements was about 9,600 wagons only.
According to the railways, the tender will give impetus to industries to grow, by utilising its full capacity, and enhance their capacity by 25 per cent.
This will also help in maximum utilisation of their manpower besides increasing employment generation at wagon manufacturing units.
The huge wagon tender is expected to boost all the other industries supplying the raw materials and the components required for wagon productions such as steel industry, paint industry, pipe industry, industries manufacturing bogies, couplers, draft gears, air brake and grease seals.
A senior railway official said all these items will be manufactured and supplied under Make-in-India policy.
The national transporter's move for the supply of 90,000 new wagons by Indian manufacturers is expected to develop confidence in the wagon industry and this will also facilitate overall freight transportation across the country.
The aim is to float a total Rs 1 lakh crore worth tender in the rail sector in the beginning of the 2022-23 fiscal, said the official.
Besides wagons, tenders in 75 station redevelopment projects, induction of Kavach in 2,000 km long rail route and Vande Bharat trains are likely to be floated shortly.
Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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