BEML optimistic about Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project

State-run BEML Ltd, the leading manufacturer of Rail and Metro coaches, remains focused on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project as "some indigenisation" is expected, an official said on Friday.

"Whatever I understand, a total of 240 coaches would be inducted by 2023 (for the project). Of this, some numbers would be assembled (in India). Initially, I believe it is better to absorb the technology. Some particular indigenisation will happen and that has not been decided," said the company's Chairman and Managing Director D.K. Hota.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Train Project, popularly referred to as Bullet Train, is an endeavour to bring economic growth and prosperity with the Indian Railways adopting the most modern technologies.

"As and when the opportunity comes and particularly when it comes to us contractually, we would invest. There are various Japanese companies which would primarily be there and we would be talking to them," he said on the sidelines of a programme "Rail connect east, 2018".

The programme was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in partnership with the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) and Indian Railways.

According to him, BEML has tied up with Japanese company Hitachi. Another public sector undertakings, BHEL Ltd, has tied up with Kawasaki.

Hota said: "The government is extremely serious (on the high-speed train project) and a lot of groundwork has happened. Whatever part (of the project) comes out for bidding, we would bid and try to get order.

"We have to be in sync with the government plans... We have the capacity to absorb the technology," he said.

The state-run company also sees opportunities in various metro projects and intends to become a turnkey player.

"Some of the metro corporations are looking at totally lease base model as resources are becoming a constraint. We are also looking at options where we will not only be a rolling stock supplier but also aspiring to form consortium with construction companies to become a turnkey player. This will help metro rail corporations to do infrastructure projects much faster," Hota said.

According to him, the company manufactured 1,200-1,300 metro coaches, which is about 47 per cent of the coaches manufactured in the country.

"At the moment, we are making 150 coaches for the Bengaluru Metro... We will be sending 72 metro cars to Kolkata Metro," he said.

There has been a proliferation of metros in various cities. Each metro corporation has its own standards, he said.

"Attempts are now being made to standardise (different standards). There would be some meetings soon," he added.


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