In Bihar, PM Modi dedicates Madhepura electric loco factory to nation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday dedicated to the nation the Madhepura electric locomotive facility and flagged off the first engine manufactured there through a remote device from Motihari.
A joint venture (JV) between French multinational company Alstom and Indian Railways, the electric locomotive facility marks a transformational change for rail freight movement in India as well as the region of Madhepura. Alstom has a 76% stake in the JV and Indian Railways has 24% stake.
The electric locomotive, ‘WAG12’ double section locomotive, is capable of hauling 6,000 tonnes, at a maximum speed of 120 kmph. The locomotive has 12,000 horsepower - allowing faster and safer movement of heavier freight trains across the country.
The locomotive factory spread over 250 acres of land at Madhepura, has been set up at an estimated cost of over ₹20,000 crore and it would generate six lakh mandays of work for local residents and roll out 800 electric locos in the next 11 years.
In a press release on Tuesday, Alain Spohr, managing director, Alstom, India and South Asia, said, “It is a matter of great pride and privilege for Alstom to have Prime Minister of India flagging off our first complete electric locomotive and dedicating the Madhepura facility to the nation. There can be no stronger endorsement of our efforts towards ‘Make in India’ and skill development initiatives in the country. Alstom is proud to partner with the Indian Railways on this transformation journey towards a sustainable future in mobility in the country.”
He added, “This facility will also pave the way for the industrial development in Bihar and will act as a gateway of opportunities for the region.”
The electric locomotives will now move to the testing and maintenance depot at Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh before being introduced to the mainline network as part of the freight fleet.
The company plans to develop an ecosystem to enable local manufacturers to set up manufacturing units in and around Madhepura besides focusing on skill development and education which will prepare more than 5000 young minds for gainful employment.
The company also plans to adopt a local ITI to provide skill development to 840 students over the next 10 years. Of these, 300 students will be absorbed by Alstom for apprenticeship programmes within the facility.
Modi was in Bihar to attend an event to mark 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagrah with an aim to spread the message of Swachh Bharat.
PM Modi also flagged off the inaugural run of a Humsafar Express between Katihar and New Delhi and laid the foundation stone for the doubling of the Muzaffarpur-Sugauli-Valmikinagar track.