Joint working group calls to set up locomotive workshop

Bhubaneswar: The joint working group comprising Odisha Chief Secretary and General Manager, East Coast Railway has recommended to set up an Electric Locomotive Periodic Overhaul workshop in Kalahandi district.

This was informed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu through a letter.

“I am happy to inform you that the committee has deliberated on various possibilities and based on the actual demand and other economic consideration of Railways, it has recommended for setting up an Electric Locomotive Periodic Overhaul workshop in Kalahandi district, Odisha,” Patnaik said in the letter.

Stating that the recommended Electric Locomotive POH would require about 250 acre of land, Patnaik assured the railway minister that the state government proposed to provide the land free of cost for the greater benefit of the state.

Patnaik pointed out that the recommendation has been made mainly on account of the overall shortage of Electric Locomotive POH capacity over the Indian Railways, large Electrification Works being undertaken in the ECoR and also the fact that there is no such workshop anywhere in the ECoR.

The working group has also done a feasibility study based on the current operation and concluded that there is an immediate need for a 60 locomotives per year capacity POH workshop, Patnaik said adding this would reduce the cost of having the current 344 Electric Locomotives of ECoR being overhauled at far off places in eastern, southern and central railways.

“With electrification of the entire Sambalpur Division, which incidentally serves the Kalahandi district, the demand for POH of electric locomotives can only go up,” Patnaik said.

The joint working group of Odisha Chief Secretary and GM, ECoR was set up during Prabhu’s visit to the state on April 16 in the backdrop of a series of agitation over the shifting of a railway wagon repair and maintenance factory from Narla in Kalahandi district to Vishakhapatanam in Andhra Pradesh.