Herculean task for DLMW to produce 60 electrical locomotives in 10 months
Already expert in developing diesel locomotives, Indian Railways assigned Diesel Loco Modernisation Works (DLMW) to prepare electric locomotives for the first time. However, it is going to be a herculean task for the DLMW to develop atleast 60 electric and 50 diesel locomotives in less than 10 months within the deadline, i.e., March 2019.
The delay in purchase and supply of raw material for the production of electric locomotive engines had halted the work at the workshop.
The DLMW developed and dispatched two electric locomotives costing around ₹25 crore earlier this year. Both these locomotives cleared the required testing, following which, the department was asked to develop 60 such locomotives by the end of this financial year.
One of senior activists of DLMW Employees Federation Union claimed that work was halted for around one month as there is no supply of raw material used in the making of electric engines. “Though the work on diesel locomotives is on, the work related to electric engines has been delayed,” a union leader said.
As cent percent electrification of railway lines is on, the Union railways department has stopped the production of diesel engines and allowed only those workshops to produce such engines, where the raw material has been available.
“The unit in Patiala will stop producing the diesel locomotives from next year,” an official said.
Awadesh Singh, secretary, DLMW, said there is no shortage of raw material as the work has been delayed only due to slow procurement of raw material.
“The order has already been floated to purchase required raw material, including electric transformers and other body material from private firms. Earlier, we had to wait to get authorisation letter from the concerned department to manufacture electric engines,” he said.
Singh added that due to slower procurement, the work has been divided as the employees are now engaged in production of diesel engines, while the work of manufacturing electric locomotives will commence in coming months.
“We have no shortage of manpower. Even if we get raw material by October, we would able to meet our deadline,” he said.
The railways has two production units in Punjab as in Patiala, the locomotives are generally produced, while another production unit in Kapurthala district, the railway coaches are produced.