The Kolar Coach factory, which has been delayed due to the state government’s inability to provide land since the project was sanctioned five years ago, may be shelved in the coming days as the railways is rethinking on its necessity.
The project, estimated to cost Rs 1,460 crore, was sanctioned back in 2012-13 budget by then railway minister Dinesh Trivedi but has been virtually forgotten save for intermittent demand by people’s representatives from Kolar.
Railway officials said the number of rail coach factories in the country has gone up over the last 10 years and they were already producing more than what was required.
“Rethinking does not necessarily mean we are going to shelve the project. We have to make an assessment before investing thousands of crores,” a senior official said.
Kolar MP K H Muniyappa said there was no question of dropping the project. “Karnataka is the only state in the country which is giving land free of cost for railway projects. In addition, we are going to share 50% of the project cost. I have met (Railway Minister) Piyush Goel and informed him that the state government is ready to provide a major portion of the land required for the project. His response has been positive,” he said.
The Kolar MP attributed the reason for delay to the change in the government in 2014, when BJP came to power.
“Railways is not getting as much interest as it used to, during the BJP regime. We have 2.50 crore people travelling in trains every day. But the railways is sidelined to give importance to projects like Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train. When it comes to the Kolar factory, there is no politics. all MPs have agreed that the project is mutually beneficial to the state and the railways,” he said.