A letter sent by Piyush Goyal said that the government didn't see the need for a new factory, the Palakkad one was inaugurated in 2012 and is still not functional.

No rail coach factory in Palakkad Kerala MPs protest at Rail Bhavan in DelhiFacebook/MB Rajesh
news Kanjikode Coach factory Friday, June 22, 2018 - 15:00

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said that the Central government has taken a biased stand like never before in its decision to drop the proposed rail coach factory project in Palakkad district’s Kanjikode area.

The CM who was in Delhi, inaugurated the protest rally by LDF MP’s in front of the Rail Bhavan.

Pinarayi said that the different central governments have been cheating Kerala as the state was promised a coach factory 36 years ago.

In a letter sent by Minister of railways, Piyush Goyal dated April 18 which was received by Palakkad MP, MB Rajesh on June 13, it was said that, “setting up such projects (rail coach factory) requires a sustained demand of coaches in the future.”

The letter also said that, “The requirement of coaches vis-à-vis available manufacturing capacity has been reviewed recently and it is likely that Indian railways requirement of main line coaches can be met for the near future, by augmenting the production capacities of its existing production units.”

Talking to TNM, MB Rajesh said that the government is changing its stance. “We had heard the news that the government is proposing a coach factory in Uttar Pradesh. It is a diabolical stand. They told us that there was no need for such a factory, so why are they simultaneously talking of establishing it in a place where they are in governance?,” he said.

This is not the first time that a coach factory promised for Kerala is being shifted out. In the 1980s, the Centre had promised to bring in a factory in the state, but the project was later shifted to Kapurthala in Punjab.

The Kanjikode coach factory was announced in the 2008 railway budget, and six years ago, the Kerala state government had acquired 239 acres of land for the project. In 2012, the then Union Minister for Railways, Dinesh Trivedi, had also laid the foundation stone for the project, and later, a compound wall was built around the acquired land.

The project was allocated Rs 43 crore for land acquisition, and token allocations of Rs 1.6 crore each were made in 2012 and 2013.

It was announced that this would be a public-private partnership project, and that the railways would put in 26% of the cost, while 74% of the share would be through private partnership. It was also announced that the coach factory would produce metro coaches as well.

Also read: Protests in Kerala over govt’s move to shift Palakkad railway coach factory to Haryana

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