New Delhi: As part of efforts to strengthen Indo-Pak trade ties, Railways is mulling to provide 50 diesel locomotives on hiring basis to Pakistan.
As per the plan, railways is likely to give at an approximate rate of Rs 1500 per hour per locomotive of 3000 HP to Pakistan for leasing purpose.Besides leasing out, railways will also provide training facilities for Pakistan railwaymen to run Indian locomotives.
“The Ministry of External Affairs has already okayed the proposal and now the modalities of supplying locomotives are being worked,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
“If the supply takes place then it will be for the first time that Indian Railways will come to the aid of Pakistan,” the official said.
Though railways regularly supply locomotives to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, Mozambique, Tanzania and Ghana, it will be for the first time that railways will supply locomotives to Pakistan, said the official.
“Railways supply about 10 locomotives on an average in a year. Generally, we sell locos on outright purchase basis to other countries but this will be for the first time that we are considering to give it on hiring basis because Pakistan Railways is preferring leasing to buying,” said the official.
Currently, railways manufacture about 250 diesel locomotives in a year. With the continuous growth in traffic volume, there is a demand for the production of more locomotives.
The three-member team of the Pakistan Railways Advisory and Consultancy Services Limited (PRACS) had earlier held preliminary discussions with the officials of Railway Infrastructure, Technical and Economic Services (RITES).
RITES have received request from Pakistan Railways regarding the supply of locomotives from India. “A formal agreement will be signed between RITES and PRACS after the finalisation of modalities,” said the official.
Pakistan is facing an acute shortage of locomotives as it has about 520 locomotives out of which about 450 are under repair.