The Standing Committee on Railways, headed by BJP MP Radha Mohan Singh, has asked the Railways to speed up the construction of rakes and coaches to meet the aspirations and demands of passengers.
Vande Bharat Express Train. (representative picture)
Dream of Vande Bharat Express: Indian Railway Ministry for the financial year 2022-23 Scheme of 35 Vande Bharat trains Had made it, but could manage to give only 8 now. A parliamentary house panel has warned how the railways could fall short of its targets. The Standing Committee on Railways has asked the Railways to ramp up production of rakes and coaches to meet the aspirations and demands of passengers. The committee headed by BJP MP Radha Mohan Singh presented its 14th report on the demands for grants for 2023-24.
Expressing its concern, the Railway Committee said that 35 rakes of Vande Bharat were planned for the year 2022-23, out of which only 8 rakes have come out so far. He believes that at this pace of production, it may be difficult for the Railways to achieve its set target. He would like to suggest the Ministry to intensify its efforts for production of Vande Bharat rakes/coaches to meet the aspirations of rail passengers.
According to media reports, the Railway Committee also suggested that the Railways should provide technical assistance to other production units so that they can manufacture rakes and coaches for Vande Bharat trains. Let us tell you that in the latest Union Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced 400 Vande Bharat trains. The parliamentary committee has said in its report that by February 17, 2023, Indian Railways has introduced 10 pairs of flagship Vande Bharat Express. It was also said in the report that a plan has been made to manufacture 400 Vande Bharat rakes in a phased manner within the railway production units.
Trains will be made in these factories
As per the plan, 120 rakes of Vande Bharat trains are to be produced at Marathwada Rail Coach Factory (MRCF), Latur. 80 rakes at ICF, Chennai, 100 rakes at Rail Coach Manufacturing Plant (RCNK), Sonepat, and 100 rakes at Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli, involving multiple technology partners. In the current financial year, the three production units – ICF, RCF and MCF have managed to produce 35 rakes (560 coaches) and plans to produce 67 rakes (1,072 coaches) in the year 2023-24.
10 Vande Bharat trains in service
Currently 10 Vande Bharat trains are in service, including two from Delhi to Varanasi and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra since 2019. Eight new and improved variants of Vande Bharat trains have been introduced in the last with enhanced safety features, improved ridership index and passenger amenities. Mumbai Central-Gandhi Nagar Capital, New Delhi-Amb Andaura, Chennai-Mysore, Bilaspur-Nagpur, Howrah-New Jalpaiguri, Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam, Mumbai-Sholapur and Mumbai Shirdi.