AIRF – Letter to PM about Modern Coach Factory/Rae Bareli & other Production Units of the Indian Railways
Dated: July 26, 2019
Hon’ble Minister for Railways,
Ministry of Railways,
Sub: Corporatization of Modern Coach Factory/Rae Bareli and other Production Units of the Indian Railways as “Rolling Stock Company”
Ref.: Chairman, Railway Board’s letter No.2019/E&R/10(10)/12 dated 18.06.2019
We are of the firm opinion that, all the Production Units of the Railways, including Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli, function efficiently well and can be proud of their workforce as also the management. Against an installed capacity of one thousand coaches per annum, MCF scripted a unique success story by manufacturing 1425 number of coaches during the just concluded Financial Year, i.e. 2018-19, doubling its production from the previous year (711 coaches in the year 2017-18). Continuing this tempo with zest, MCF is slated to manufacture 2158number of coaches in the current financial year to support the Railway Passenger Transport Operations. This tentamounts to tripling its production in just two years, a fact unheard of in any major industrial unit of the Indian Railways.
On the fronts of cost and economies of production, MCF has established a record by turning out top quality coaches at the lowest cost. As is evident from the fact that, in the Financial Year 2018-19 coach out turn was 1425 coaches on an average cost of Rs.2.06 crore, having total number of 2201 employees on roll only. The cost of manufacture of coaches at MCF is very competitive even when compared to imported LHB coaches which were bought at a cost of Rs.5.17 crore (approx.) per coach in the year 1995.
Similarly, production of rolling stock of different kinds has increased to a great extent in almost all the Railway Production Units over the years. So far as technological upgradation is concerned, Railway’s Production Units have come forward to manufacture T-18 rakes and air-conditioned EMU/MEMU rakes indigenously which are serving rail users’ to their utmost satisfaction. Obviously, Railwaymen have proved their worth to accept any kind of challenge in the field of manufacturing rolling stock (all types coaches/ locomotives) with the state-of-art technology.
However, we agree with the dictum that, even the best need not be perfect and there is room for improvement. We are for both financial and functional viability to all the Production Units, so that, the respective management and workforce can evolve best practices and procedures to make those units highly competitive in their performance. Any concrete proposal in this regard, from whichever quarter it emanates, is most welcome and workers will be too happy to consider.
Mere change in the form of the entity, we are convinced, will not bring about any performance related improvements, i.e. BSNL, which was a product of corporatization of a highly profitable departmental entity, is a glaring example to consider.
It is worth-mentioning here that, serious unrest is brewing among the employees working in the Production Units of the Indian Railways, including MCF/RBL, on account of Ministry of Railway’s proposal to corporatize Railway’s Production Units as an agenda of 100 day’s Action Plan. They are agitating this issue continuously by holding rallies, dharnas, demonstrations etc., which may result in serious threat to industrial harmony prevailing since nearly four decades over the Indian Railway System.
AIRF is, therefore, of the firm opinion that, Ministry of Railways should not go ahead with any move to corporatize Indian Railway’s existing Production Units in the larger interest of the workers as also of the Railway Industry.
(Shiva Gopal Mishra)