BHUBANESWAR: The joint working group (JWG) comprising the Chief Secretary and General Manager, East Coast Railway (ECR) has recommended to set up an Electric Locomotive Periodic Overhaul (POH) workshop in Kalahandi district.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informed this today to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in a letter.
The Chief Minister said the committee has deliberated on various possibilities and based on the actual demand and other economic considerations of Railways it has recommended for setting up of an
electric locomotive periodic overhaul workshop in Kalahandi district.
Stating that the workshop would require about 250 acres of land, Naveen assured the railway minister that the state government would provide the land free of cost for the greater benefit of the State.
The recommendation has been made mainly on account of the overall shortage of electric locomotive POH capacity in
Indian Railways, large electrification works being undertaken in the ECR, he said and added that there is no such workshop anywhere in ECR.
Naveen said the working group has also done a feasibility study based on current operations and concluded that there is an immediate need for a 60 locomotives per year capacity POH workshop. This would reduce the cost of having the current 344 electric locomotives of ECR being overhauled at far off places in Eastern, South Eastern and Central railways, he said.
The chief minister said, "With electrification of the entire Sambalpur Division, which incidentally serves the Kalahandi district, the demand for POH of electric locomotives can only go up".
Naveen requested the railway minister to consider the recommendation favourably and sanction this workshop for industrially backward KBK region at the earliest considering the expectations of the people of Odisha and sentiment of people of Kalahandi.
The joint working group was set up during the railway minister's visit to the state on April 16 in the backdrop of a series of agitation following the decision to shift the proposed railway wago repair and maintenance factory from Narla in Kalahandi district.