A parliamentary standing committee on Railways has raised concern over the pace of production of Vande Bharat trains and said that in 2022-23, only eight rakes have been manufactured till now against the target of 35 for the year.
The fourteenth report of the Standing Committee on Railways headed by BJP MP Radha Mohan Singh, in its 14th report on the demand for grants, has asked that the Railways need to intensify efforts for the production of Vande Bharat rakes/coaches to meet the aspirations of rail commuters.
"The Committee while expressing their concern to find that out of 35 rakes of Vande Bharat planned for the year 2022-23, only 08 rakes have been turned out till date, are of the view that with this pace of production, the Railways may find it difficult to achieve their set target," the report, which was tabled in both Houses of Parliament on Monday, said.
The Committee also noted that during the budget speech of 2022-23, the finance minister had announced 400 Vande Bharat trains. It said that as on February 17, 2023, Indian Railways introduced 10 pairs of Vande Bharat Express.
Railways informed the committee that the manufacturing of 400 Vande Bharat Rakes has been planned in a phased manner within the Railway Production Units itself.
These include 120 rakes at Marathwara Rail Coach Factory (MRCF), Latur, 80 rakes at ICF, Chennai, 100 rakes at Rail Coach Navinikarn Karkhana (RCNK), Sonipat and 100 rakes at Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareilly engaging different technology partners.
"During the current financial year 2022-23, the three Production Units i.e. ICF, RCF and MCF have managed to produce 35 rakes (560 coaches) and planned to produce 67 rakes (1072 coaches) in the year 2023-24 in these three Production Units.
"The Committee also desire that the Railways should extend the technological support to other Production Units to enable them to manufacture the rakes/coaches of Vande Bharat Trains for bringing into the fleet," it said.