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Move to make railway coaches domestically

Published : 21 Jan 2022 10:55 PM

The Ministry of Railways is taking fresh move to materialize a project for manufacturing locomotives and railway bogies in Syedpur and Chattogram.

According to a reliable source the government wants to implement the project under PPP (Public Private Partnership).

It has been discussed in a forum to take initiative to manufacture locomotives and railway bogies in Syedpur and Chattogram. 

This information was given in a notification of the Cabinet Division after the session on the Ministry of Railways on Thursday, the third and concluding day of the DCs’ Conference at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital. 

The initiative has been widely discussed for long. According to latest information, the project was supposed to be completed under Indian Line of Credit (LoC) but now the decision has been changed. 

While talking to Bangladesh Post Bangladesh Railway’s Chief Mechanical Engineer (West) Md Kudrat E Khoda said, “Now we are going to conduct fresh feasibility study. To this end, a DPP (Development Project Proposal) has been prepared and now it will be sent to the planning commission. Consultant will be appointed after getting the approval.” 

While searching why feasibility study is needed again, it was learnt that the government wants to implement the project under PPP (Public Private Partnership), that’s why feasibility study through third party is must before placing it to the ECNEC. 

To make the railway self-sufficient and reduce the dependence on imports from abroad, the government had taken initiative to manufacture spare parts of railway bogies and locomotives in the country.

It is also learnt that at present almost the entire railway sector is dependent on imports. The government has to spend huge amount of money to buy bogies (coaches or carriages) and engines from abroad every year. Besides, it takes a long time to complete this process of import.  

According to the Ministry of Railways, the largest railway workshop in the country is located at Syedpur. Although some coaches were made there in limited scale besides repairs before the country’s independence but it was closed in 1993. The workshop, which covers an area of about 112 acres, now turns a dumping zone for the old bogies or carriages of the railways.  

At present there are three specialized railway factories in the country. There is a railway factory at Syedpur, a central locomotive factory at Parbatipur in Dinajpur and a carriage and wagon repair factory at Pahartali in Chattogram. 

The purpose of establishing the factories was to maintain locomotives, carriages and wagons of the railways properly and to maintain the life span as well as the mobility. These factories also have machines for making spare parts. But due to manpower crisis, budget deficit and lack of modernization, the factories are not able to show the desired craftsmanship.