Being hostile to India has cost Pakistan the opportunity to modernise its locomotives (engines).
A Pakistan railways team had visited Patiala last year to look at how India could help her neighbour in this effort, said Diesel Loco Modernisation Works (DMW) chief administrative officer SK Luthra, adding that the DMW would start supplying railway engines to Burma, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the other countries, besides non-railway customers. It is India’s only unit dealing with the modernisation and repair of old locomotives apart from building new units.
Taking India’s help would prove economical to Pakistan, said Luthra, explaining that for as little expense as Rs 4-to-5 crore, “we could give a new life to a railway engine. Pakistan can take benefit of India’s expertise in the modernisation of locomotives.”
India can offer Pakistan cheaper spare parts than what the West and China can supply. Last financial year, it supplied its first engine to a non-railway customer — National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). “Now SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited) and Coal India Limited have approached us for the modernisation of old engines and buying new ones,” said Luthra.
The DMW’s focus now is on achieving 10% more fuel efficiency by building common rail direct injection (CRDI) system into new diesel engines. Last year, it commissioned projects worth Rs 1,500 crore and modernised nearly 120 train engines. It will build a 2-megawatt solar-energy plant. Senior railway officials DL Kamble, Atul Arya, Bimal Ratuji, and Ravinder Singh were present at the press conference with Luthra.