Andhra Pradesh

Midlife coach factory caught in birth pangs

The model of the Railway Midlife Coach factory proposed with an investment of up to Rs. 500 crore at Panchalingala village in Kurnool district.- PHOTO: By Arrangement

The model of the Railway Midlife Coach factory proposed with an investment of up to Rs. 500 crore at Panchalingala village in Kurnool district.- PHOTO: By Arrangement  

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If set up soon, the railway unit can bring around 3,000 jobs

A ray of hope for drought-hit Kurnool district is the midlife coach factory proposed to be built by the railways. If the Centre gives it a dash of momentum, it has the potential to give a fillip to infrastructure, generate jobs in the area and build an ecosystem for a large number of ancillary units.

A midlife coach factory is a sort of a refitting facility for railway coaches half way through their lives. The average passenger coach has a normal life of 25 years and needs an overhaul at midlife, or 12 years. Such coaches are sent to the workshop where they are taken apart and refitted with new spare parts. The overhaul extends their life by 25 years.

The factory is proposed to be set up at Panchalingala village on the interstate border with Mahbubnagar in Telangana. It requires an investment of up to Rs. 500 crore, which is to be raised entirely by the Union Government. As with many Indian infrastructure projects, the preliminaries such as the bhoomi puja and the foundation stone, have been quickly done. Former Union minister of state for railways Kotla Jayasuryaprakash Reddy, who claims this to be his baby, performed both rituals when he was in office.

Since then there has been the not-so-simple matter of land acquisition for the project. The factory project needed 181 acres of private land, an acquisition that has been completed after much toing and froing. A draft notification for land acquisition had to be reissued because the old one had lapsed, this being the era of the UPA government.

The case went to court, which stipulated continuation of the land acquisition proceedings under Section 118 of the old Land Acquisition Act, but directed payment of compensation under the new Act. The farmers parted with their land without any resistance at Rs. 6 lakh per acre, says collector Vijayamohan. The project has moved a little since then but we are still in the preliminaries. The Union Government wired an amount of Rs. 17 crore for the project, of which Rs. 15.50 crore went towards paying off the farmers for their land and Rs. 1.50 crore was spent on establishment charges. But Mr Vijayamohan sees more momentum in the months ahead: the relevant proposals are under the “active consideration”” of the Railway Ministry.

If set up soon, the factory would employ about 700 persons. The ministry expects 150 ancillary units to come up once the factory gets going, supplying springs, nuts, bolts and such like, and employing 3,000.

(Reporting by

M.V. Subramanyam)



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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:48:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/midlife-coach-factory-caught-in-birth-pangs/article7626904.ece

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