Nitish bats for Marhowra diesel locomotive project
Patna:Amid reports of possible winding up of the Marhowra diesel locomotive factory announced by Lalu Prasad in the Rail Budget a decade ago, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today batted for the project and said he would have a word with the Railway Minister in this regard.
"I have seen media reports about Railways considering possibility of exiting or winding up Marhowra diesel locomotive factory to be set up in Saran district of Bihar. I will talk to Railway minister in this regard," Kumar reporters on sidelines of 'Lok Samvad' (public interaction) programme.
According to the reports, winding up of the diesel locomotive project was to give way for electrification, which is seen as the roadmap for future.
"Electrification of Railway is taking place slowly.
The electrified area in the country is still less than non-electrified areas," Kumar, who himself served as Railway Minister during the NDA rule of A B Vajpayee, said.
"Complete electrification of Railway will take time and till that time diesel engines cannot be discarded.
"In such condition need for high-capacity efficient diesel engines would be there. There is market for efficient diesel engine across the world," he said.
The Railways had awarded contracts for the Madhepura electric and Marhowra diesel locomotive factories in Bihar to Alstom and GE, respectively, in 2015.
The two projects were billed as the biggest FDI in the rail sector, together representing around Rs 40,000 crore of investment.
Over 67 acres of land were given by Railways to Marhowra project. Work is on in full swing.
The twin projects were announced by former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad in his Rail Budget a decade back, as a "gift" to Bihar.