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Railways needs 80,000 wheels annually, initiate projects to become atmanirbhar: Vaishnaw, ET Infra

The Indian Railways requires 80,000 forged wheels annually and the government has approved a project under which 2,30 lakh will be produced annually, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Thursday. His statement at a press conference on Thursday came a day after he said in a written statement in Parliament, available on the Lok Sabha website, that India’s annual requirement of train wheels are 4.40 lakh and the shortfall is met through imports.

However, when asked to clarify, the minister told the presser, “A new project has been made so that we can manufacture forged wheels and export them.”

“Our requirement is 80,000 wheels. We have started a project under which we can make forged wheels up to 2.30 lakh. We will consume 80,000 here and we will export the remaining wheels,” he added.

The minister’s December 6 statement in the Lok Sabha reads, “The annual average requirement of wheels for manufacture and maintenance of wagons/ coaches/locos etc of Indian Railways is about 4,40,000.”

“The requirement of wheels of Indian Railways is fulfilled by supply of wheels from Rail Wheel Factory/Bangalore, Rail Wheel Plant/Bela, SAIL/Durgapur Steel plant and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited(RINL)/Rae Bareli. Only shortfall requirement of wheels is met through imports as per existing policy guidelines of Government of India.”

The minister had said this in his response to a question by Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MP G Ranjith Reddy whether “it is true that Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) are unable to supply wheels to Railways and hence Railways has decided to import wheels from China”.

Vaishnaw stated that in an effort to fully develop indigenous capacity for wheels as per railways’ requirement, sufficient measures have been taken by the ministry.

“Contract under long-term agreement for supply of 80,000 forged wheels annually has been awarded in June 2023. Under this initiative, the agency has to establish forged wheels plant in India under ‘Make in India’. With the initiatives taken, India is on the way to become atmanirbhar in forged wheels,” the minister’s statement reads.

it adds, “Under off-take agreement entered with railways to supply 80,000 forged wheels annually, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) has also set up forged wheels plant in Raebareli. This plant has been commissioned in September, 2021.”

  • Published On Dec 8, 2023 at 08:13 AM IST

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