Preparations are in full swing for the formal commissioning of the Rs. 1,685 crore rail coach factory at Lalganj in Rae Bareli.
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi will dedicate the unit to the country this month.
Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who has put the project on top priority, will also attend the formal commissioning of the factory in Gandhi’s constituency.
While a tentative date was fixed at November 7, a final one would be announced shortly as the ground work was being finalised, a senior railway official said.
The cash-strapped railways have just released Rs. 150 crore for the factory against the demand of Rs 400 crore. The project received a push after the railway ministry came to the Congress.
The railways have agreed to provide jobs to about 1,400 persons in compensation for the land acquired for the Rae Bareli coach factory, putting an end to the deadlock over the issue. Jobs in the ‘Group D’ category will be given to the land owners.
The country’s largest public transporter had acquired 541 hectares of land for the coach factory out of which 283 hectares belonged to private land owners.
The factory is expected to cater to railways’ increasing demand for coaches by annually rolling out about 1,000 LHB coaches.
Currently, the factory is engaged only in assembling LHB coaches. The existing mild steel coaches in trains will gradually be replaced by high-quality stainless steel coaches (LHB coaches), as used in the Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains.
While the foundation stone for the Rae Bareli coach factory was laid by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on February 13, 2007, the inauguration for construction of the factory was done by her on January 27, 2009.