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Nitish Kumar bats for Marhowra diesel locomotive project amid reports of winding up of factory

Patna: Amid reports of possible winding up of the Marhowra diesel locomotive factory announced by Lalu Prasad Yadav in the Rail Budget a decade ago, chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday batted for the project and said he would have a word with the railways minister in this regard.

 Nitish Kumar bats for Marhowra diesel locomotive project amid reports of winding up of factory

File image of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. PTI

"I have seen media reports about railways considering possibility of exiting or winding up Marhowra diesel locomotive factory to be set up in Saran district of Bihar. I will talk to railways minister in this regard," Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of 'Lok Samvad' (public interaction) programme.

According to the reports, winding up of the diesel locomotive project was to give way for electrification, which is seen as the roadmap for future.

"Electrification of railway is taking place slowly. The electrified area in the country is still less than non-electrified areas," Kumar, who himself served as railways minister during the NDA rule of AB Vajpayee, said.

"Complete electrification of railway will take time and till that time diesel engines cannot be discarded.

"In such condition need for high-capacity efficient diesel engines would be there. There is market for efficient diesel engine across the world," he said.

The railways had awarded contracts for the Madhepura electric and Marhowra diesel locomotive factories in Bihar to Alstom and GE, respectively, in 2015.

The two projects were billed as the biggest FDI in the rail sector, together representing around Rs 40,000 crore of investment.

Over 67 acres of land were given by railways to Marhowra project. Work is on in full swing.

The twin projects were announced by former railways minister Lalu Prasad in his Rail Budget a decade back, as a "gift" to Bihar.

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Updated Date: Sep 18, 2017 20:48:37 IST

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