Railwaymen E-magazine AIRF January 2016 Issue
Privatization from front door on the Indian Railways
On 30th November, 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed amongst the Ministry of Railways and M/s Alstom and General Electric, for manufacturing Electric and Diesel Locomotives at Madhepura and Marhowra.
The peculiarity of the agreement is that, the Government of India had stood the guarantee for assured off-take which means, whether we need it or not, we will have to purchase Electric and Diesel Locomotives manufactured by M/s Alstom and GE.
While addressing the media, Hon’ble Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley, declared that, it is a great achievement and big leap for the scheme “Make in India”. He also declared that, it will attract foreign investors to India. In this MoU, not only manufacturing, but also thirteen years maintenance contract has been awarded to M/s Alstom and General Electric.
Recently, Ministry of Railways has also entered into an agreement for purchasing of sixteen number of train sets. Here also they have awarded thirteen years maintenance contract to the company from where these are being purchased.
The core issue remains, whether these units at Madhepura and Marhowra are at all required or not. The Traffic Department in Ministry of Railways, the user, had opposed the move, but accepted the same under pressure. The Financial Commissioner, Railways, has also opposed the same number of times, but finally has to succumb to pressure.
Now, there are two main questions, one is, what will happen to our Chitranjan Loco Motive Works and Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi, which have earned laurels from all corners for their quality production with state-of-the-art technology, that too on very economical way.
Second, if maintenance is outsourced like this, how we will be able to learn the technology and what will be the future of the existing staff?
This is only a start. If we do not rise to oppose this move tooth and nail, the Indian Railways will not be in a shape as it is today. It is a move to privatize the Indian Railways from the front door.
Let’s understand the danger and unitedly face the challenge to save not only the Indian Railways but also the Nation.
With Best Wishes,
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