National

Parliamentary panel raps Rlys for Cherthala project delay

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on August 14, 2012 Published on August 14, 2012

The committee has not agreed to the contention of the Ministry that the modernisation plan was not under consideration of the Railways when the shareholders agreement was signed in 2009.

Rapping the Railways for “inordinate” delay of five years in executing a manufacturing unit project in Kerala, a parliamentary panel has sought explanation on the issue.

Observing that the national transporter has not shown any “enthusiasm” in implementing the project, the committee has recommended that there should be in-built system of fixing responsibilities for delays, non-performance and ad hoc decisions.

The Railway Convention Committee in its latest report has noted that the Railways mooted a proposal to set up a joint venture with the Kerala in 2007 to manufacture wagon and coaching components for the Railways in autocast and steel fabrication units situated at Cherthala in Allapuzha district of the State.

However, the developments thereafter show that the railways had not shown any enthusiasm in implementing it, the 18-member panel observed in its report submitted in Parliament today.

Displeasure

The committee expressed displeasure at lack of seriousness on the part of the Railways which it blamed for inordinate delay in the implementation of the project.

The first pre-feasibility study report of the project done by RITES was available with Railways in 2007 based on which provision of Rs 10 lakh was kept in the rail budget 2007-08 for the project, the committee noted.

The shareholder’s agreement was signed between the Railways and Kerala in 2009. Thereafter, the proposal for setting up the joint venture was put on the back burner, the panel observed.

The 18-member committee headed by Arjun Charan Sethi said it was surprised to find that even after a lapse of five years the project is nowhere in sight.

The committee has found that the shareholder’s agreement to set up a joint venture for manufacturing the components for wagons and coaches of Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) design was signed in 2009 and in the same year the decision was taken to shift from ICF bogie frames to LHB bogie frames.

Rly stand rejected

The committee has not agreed to the contention of the Ministry that the modernisation plan was not under consideration of the Railways when the shareholders agreement was signed in 2009 for manufacturing of ICF bogie frames in the manufacturing unit in Kerala, particularly when the LHB coaches were introduced in railways as back as December 2003.

The case study of formation of this proposed joint venture has revealed that the project planning/implementation technology upgradation, absorption in railways projects require a thorough review so as to ensure that agreements of railways are honoured in letter and spirit, funds provided in budget are optimally utilized, latest technology/quality concepts are incorporated in project formulation, time lines are fixed and followed.

‘Fix responsibility’

The committee has emphasised that there should be in-built system of fixing responsibilities for delays, non-performance and ad hoc decisions.

The committee has, therefore, recommended that the Railways should make a review of the ongoing projects keeping the well-defined parameters in mind and apprise the committee accordingly within a period of three months.

Published on August 14, 2012

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