PM likely to flag off Madhepura factory's first electric loco next week
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to dedicate the locomotive facility in Madhepura in Bihar to the nation and flag off the first high-power electric locomotive assembled there on April 10, railway ministry sources said today.
Modi, who will be in Motihari as the chief guest at a programme of the Chalo Champaran Campaign, a part of the Swachch Bharat Mission, is likely to launch the first 12,000HP (horsepower) electric locomotive, remotely from there.
"The PM is slated to be in Champaran at that time and among other things he might announce for the state, announcement of the first electric loco in Madhepura could be a part of it," senior Indian Railways officials said, adding that the final itinerary will be decided in the coming days.
This first locomotive is part of a joint venture of the railways with French giant Alstom, signed in 2015 and the first major foreign direct investment (FDI) project in the rail sector.
The project envisages a capital investment of around Rs 1,300 crore by the JV company where Ministry of Railways is required to contribute a maximum of Rs 100 crore as its equity (26 pc) participation.
The ministry would procure 800 locomotives over 11 years.
It said while five locomotives would be assembled at the factory by 2019 and the remaining 795 would be manufactured under the 'Make in India' initiative. The factory would build 100 electric engines per year from the financial year 2021-22.
A team of more than 35 engineers have been working day and night to assemble the electric engines at the factory, set up at an estimated cost of more than Rs 20,000 crore.
The Indian Railways is looking to manufacture 800 electric train engines in the next 11 years to meet the requirement of locomotives after the electrification of almost all railway routes.
The foundation stone for the factory was laid in 2007 by then railway minister Lalu Prasad.
The locomotive factory is spread over 250 acres of land in Madhepura, 284 km northeast of state capital Patna.