BHUBANESWAR: Odisha government on Friday requested Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to consider the recommendation of the joint working group to set up an Electric Locomotive Periodic Overhaul (POH) Workshop in Kalahandi district.
In a letter to Prabhu, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “The recommended Electric Locomotive POH workshop would need about 250 acres of land and my government proposes to provide the same free of cost for the greater benefit of the state.”
Notably, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the Railway Minister in April this year had set up a joint working group comprising of Odisha Chief Secretary and General Manager, East Coast Railway to do an analysis of rail-based industries and after that suggest the most suitable factory in Kalahandi district.
Earlier, a wagon maintenance workshop had been announced in Railway Budget, 2013-14. However, it has been shifted to Andhra Pradesh inviting criticism from various quarters in the state.
“I am happy to inform you that the committee has deliberated on various possibilities and based on the actual demand and other economic considerations of Railways it has recommended for setting up an Electric Locomotive Periodic OverHaul (POH) Workshop in Kalahandi district,” said Patnaik.
He said the recommendation had been made mainly on account of the overall shortage of Electric Locomotive POH capacity over Indian Railways, large electrification works being undertaken in ECoR and also the fact that there is no such workshop anywhere in ECoR.
The working group has also done a feasibility study based on the current operations and concluded that there is an immediate need for a 60 Locomotives per year capacity POH workshop, he added.
This would reduce the cost of having the current 344 Electric locomotives of ECoR being overhauled at far off places in Eastern, South Eastern and Central Railways, said the Chief Minister.