Ministry of Railways Current Affairs

CCEA approves closure of Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved closure of Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company Limited (BWEL). BWEL is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under Ministry of Railways (MoR).

Proposal in this regard was forwarded to CCEA by the MoR. The CCEA decision will stop flow of financial support from public funds for carrying on the operations of BWEL resulting in savings for the Government.

Background

CCEA decision comes in view of the continues poor physical and financial performance of the BWEL for more than 10 years, in spite of financial assistance and other support provided by MoR. The decision to wound up BWEL comes after its low probability of revival in future.

Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company Limited (BWEL)

BWEL was incorporated as a CPSE in 1978 after taking over two sick private sector companies – Arthur Butler & Company, Muzaffarpur and Britannia Engineering Company, Mokama. It was engaged in manufacture and repair of wagons. It was having two manufacturing units at Muzaffarpur and Mokama in Bihar.

The administrative control of BWEL was transferred to the MoR from Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) in August, 2008, as approved by the CCEA. The Company was referred to BIFR (Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction) in December, 2000 and was declared sick in the year 2002. Since then it remained sick (loss making) company.

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Ministry of Railways launches Mission Retro-Fitment

Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu has launched Mission Retro-Fitment to enhance the passenger experience by upgrading the existing fleet of coaches.

Salient Highlights

Mission Retro-Fitment is an ambitious program of the ministry or railways to upgrade the level of furnishing & amenities in the coaches of Indian Railways.

The refurbished coaches will have better furnishing, aesthetics & amenities and better safety features which are aimed at providing a safe and comfortable travel to the railway passengers.

Under Mission Retro-Fitment, 40,000 coaches will be refurbished and retrofitted in the next five years. The mission aims to induct about 40,000 coaches with upgraded interiors by 2022-23. The mission will be one of the largest retro fitment projects in the world.

The mission will be carried out without affecting the traffic operation. It is estimated that cost of refurbishing per coach to be approximately Rs 30 lakhs.

Features

The refurbished coaches will have the following features:

World Class Ambience: The refurbished coaches will have panels with LED lights, modular toilets with plumbing, Branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds, anti-Graffiti coating etc.

Enhanced Passenger Safety: Fire and smoke detection system, rounded edges for preventing injury, double acting compartment door in AC coaches.

Environment-Friendly features such as Bio-toilets.

Usage of better materials such as polycarbonate ABS, advanced composites, Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic, stainless steel, etc.

Improved Passenger Convenience: Passenger address & Passenger information System, Braille Signage, Ergonomic design etc.

 

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