Nitish disagrees with proposal to shelve Chapra diesel loco factory, to meet Goyal

Patna,(BiharTimes): Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar disagrees with the the Railway Ministry’s likely move to shelve the diesel locomotive plant in Chapra, the idea which was conceived when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the Railway Minister (2004-2009).

Nitish said that he would meet Railways Minister Piyush Goyal to discuss the issue.

Reports said that the Railway Ministry is toying with the idea of shelving the Rs 3,000-crore mega-project which was likely to be launched by October 2018.

Nitish, who had also served as the Railway Minister before Lalu, is of the view that despite the electrification of the rail routes gaining pace across the country, investing in diesel engines will pay off in the coming years.

Nitish argued that as complete electrification in India, the world’s third largest network, might take a long time, until then fuel-efficient diesel engines will be a cost-effective alternative.

Besides,  after the electrification is complete, India can export these engines to the neighbouring countries that are yet to electrify their railway sector.

There is a lobby in the Railways which still supports diesel engine on the plea that it is not so easy to produce electricity. Thermal power plants causes huge displacement of people and high quality coal had to be imported.

Not only that once even a minor accident takes place, for example derailment, electric supply gets snapped and the Accident Relief Trains have to be powered by diesel locos.

However, analysts are of the view that the issue is political too. As the idea of diesel and electric locomotive factories at Chapra and Madhepura was conceived during the era of Lalu Prasad the latter would quickly make a political capital out of it once anyone of them are closed. He wouldblame the NDA government for the de-industrialization of Bihar.

The proposed factory at Marhaura in Chapra is expected to rollout 1,000 fuel efficient diesel-electric evolution series locomotives within 10 years.





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