Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Indian Railways to build a manufacturing plant in Rajasthan to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.
The proposed facility for production of Mainline Electrical Multiple Units (MEMU) coaches will be set up by BHEL and the entire cost will be absorbed by the company.
Currently, there are about 160 MEMU services running, with demand continuing to rise.
Plans are in place to electrify about 15,000 kms of track in the next 10 years – in addition to the existing 22,000 kms of electrified track.
There was a shortfall in acquisition of 800 MEMU coaches during the last plan period due to the lack of capacity at the MEMU coach factory in Kapurthala.
The requirement for MEMU coaches is expected to grow to nearly 9,000 coaches during the next 10-year period.
Rajasthan state will provide land to Railways for setting up the project.
The MoU was signed by Kul Bhushan, Member Electrical Railway Board, and B. P. Rao, CMD, BHEL in the presence of India’s Minister of Railways Pawan Kumar Bansal and the Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Praful Patel.
The first MEMU was first introduced in 1994-95 to cater to non-suburban passengers, residing in small towns and villages surrounding urban and industrial centres.