Tiruchirapalli

Fabrication units face cost hurdles to become suppliers for railways

Unable to compete with West Bengal

Industry bodies lament that engineering units in the central region are unable to qualify as vendors for the Integral Coach Factory, Perambur, and the Ponmalai Central Workshop despite Tiruchi being known as the hub of fabrication activities as they are unable to compete with component suppliers in West Bengal.

Deriving the advantage of the presence of numerous steel rolling mills in West Bengal, the ancillary units in the Kolkata region are able to supply components at the cost which the fabrication industries in Tiruchi incur for procuring the raw materials, according to president of Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries' Association N. Kanagasabapathy.

Transported in trains

Since the components are transported by the ancillaries in West Bengal in goods trains to ICF and Railway Central Workshop at Ponmalai, they are able to optimise their competitiveness, Mr. Kanagasabapathy explained.

A study made by industry bodies surmised that the engineering units in Tiruchi and surrounding districts will not be able to compete with ancillaries in West Bengal as long as they source the raw materials at escalated costs.

The increase in the cost of the raw materials becomes inevitable due to the pattern of supply through the network of agents.

The likelihood of potential vendors to participate in a meeting announced by Southern Railway in Coimbatore on May 9 was, therefore, bleak, he said.

Vendors meet

The Railways, according to a press release, has fixed vendor meets at CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex on May 9 and at the premises of Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cochin, on May 10, in an endeavour to strengthen the supply chain.

Industries in Tiruchi have to go a long way to adapt to the requirements of the Railways. Only a handful of industries in Tiruchi region are in a position to supply components for ICF, CII sources said.

The cost-competitiveness of engineering units in Tiruchi for supplying components to the Railways is confined to the materials made of grade metals, according to industry representatives here.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 1:15:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/fabrication-units-face-cost-hurdles-to-become-suppliers-for-railways/article27061644.ece

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