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Indian Railways suffers as private players fail to meet wagon delivery targets

Wagon manufacturers are the mainstay of the railways as 90 per cent of its requirement is met by the private sector. Till October 1, Indian Railways has received only 2,717 of the 12,311 wagons that had been ordered from 10 major players in April.

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Indian Railways

New Delhi, Oct 21 : A working capital crunch, coupled with lack of critical components, has slowed down the delivery schedule of railway wagons, affecting their availability with the transporter, a senior official said.

“Wagon manufacturers are the mainstay of the railways as 90 per cent of its requirement is met by the private sector. Till October 1, Indian Railways has received only 2,717 of the 12,311 wagons that had been ordered from 10 major players in April,” the Railways official told IANS.

Thus, the manufacturers are expected to produce 9,594 wagons, each of which costs Rs 25 lakhs, in the next five months, by March 2019, which seems to be a tall order, industry stakeholders said.

Expressing serious concern over the slow pace of delivery, the Railways has asked wagon manufacturers to improve the supply or face a penalty of two per cent of the value of the order as laid down in the contract, the official said.

According to industry sources, there are issues like lack of working capital and non-availability of critical components like bogeys, couplers, dropgear and airbrake systems from Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO)-approved vendors.

While the price of steel has gone up around 20 per cent to 25 per cent in the recent past, there are also Goods and Services Tax (GST) issues.

Five per cent GST is applicable on wagons, while the GST on raw materials required for wagon productions is 18 per cent.

There are plans to approach the Finance Ministry to resolve the GST issue, industry sources said.

Meanwhile, the Railways has decided to opt for the reverse auction method to decide on its future tender for procurement of 21,758 wagons at an estimated cost of Rs 5,600 crore — the largest such order for the national transporter.

The order includes nine types of wagons, including covered, flat, open and brake vans to be supplied by the successful bidders in the next two years.

(Arun Kumar Das can be contacted at [email protected] )

India

Avalanche hits Jawahar tunnel, Jammu-Srinagar highway closed

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JAMMU KASHMIR SNOWFALL Avalanche

Jammu, Jan 22: The Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed on Tuesday following landslides and snowfall and reports of an avalanche hitting the highway in the Jawahar Tunnel area. A team has been rushed to take stock.

Traffic department officials said landslides have hit the strategic highway at some places in the Ramban district, including Digdol, Panthal, Magarkote and Khoni Nallah.

“There has been fresh snowfall in Bannihal sector. Incessant rains are continuing in other parts of the highway. This is the second consecutive day of the highway remaining closed.

“No vehicular movement will be allowed on the highway today. Landslide clearance will be started only after the weather improves,” a traffic official said.

The highway is the lifeline of landlocked Kashmir Valley as all essential supplies are routed into the valley through this road.

IANS

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J&K: Encounter breaks out between security forces, terrorists in Shopian

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Indian army
Representative Image

Srinagar, Jan 22: An encounter breaks out between terrorists and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday. This is the second encounter is the last 24 hours in the valley.

According to sources, around 4-6 terrorists are believed to be holed up in Shopian’s Zainapora area and forces are engaging them in a fierce gunbattle.

Firing exchanges were underway in the orchards of Heff Shermal village.

“The area has been sealed off to prevent the militants from escaping,” news agency IANS quoted the informed sources as saying.

Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Special Operations Group (SOG) of state police were involved in the counter insurgency operation.

On Monday, three militants were killed in an encounter that broke out between militants and security forces in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

WeForNews

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Heavy rains lash Delhi-NCR, traffic affected

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Traffic

New Delhi, Jan 22: Heavy rains and hailstorms lashed Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Tuesday, causing water-logging and traffic snarls at several areas.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Rain/Thundershowers with gusty winds very likely to occur today in next 3 hrs(valid up to 12:15 hrs IST)at some places over Hardoi, Bahraich, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Meerut, Hapur, Shamli,Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad and adjoining areas.

As per the weather forecast, the city will continue to witness light rain for the upcoming three-four days.

Due to foggy weather conditions/low visibility, around15 trains are running late.

Updates:

Streets waterlogged in parts of the national capital

Visuals of traffic congestion from IP Estate

Rainfall and hailstorm lashes Gurugram

Visuals from Dhaula Kuan and Akbar Road

Delhi’s Subash Nagar

Visuals from Prahladpur area

WeForNews

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