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Traction motor plant in Sushma’s LS seat in the offing

The railways is firming up plans to set up a traction motor factory in Vidisha and a wagon workshop in Visakhapatnam with an aim of stepping up its manufacturing activities in line with the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

The national transporter, which is now passing through a sluggish phase, is also finalising a joint venture mechanism for implementation of projects involving state governments and other external agencies. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is likely to include the traction motor factory in the Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Madhya Pradesh, wagon workshop in Vishakhapatnam and the joint venture mechanism for rail project execution in the Railway Budget 2015-16, official sources said.

Prabhu, who is keen to make a turnaround in the railways, is likely to focus on his plan for generating additional revenue for the cash-strapped national transporter in his maiden Rail Budget. Utilisation of empty wagons and increased revenues from advertisement are also to be proposed in the Rail Budget being finalised by the ministry.

Since many rail projects are languishing for years for lack of funds, Prabhu will be seeking the states’ active participation to complete them.

The railways need nearly Rs 5 lakh crore to complete all sanctioned projects for which the Rail Budget will have proposals for mobilising additional resources including private investment, FDI and private-public partnership.

At present, there are 362 major ongoing railway projects across the country having a throw-forward of Rs 1.82 lakh crore and 113 out of the 362 are new line, gauge conversion and doubling projects which have been included in railway budgets during 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Though traction motor is currently being made in a limited way at Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) in West Bengal, the proposed factory in Vidisha will be exclusively manufacturing it for the railways.
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