The Indian Railways has set a target to achieve 100 percent 'Made in India' production of rail coaches by the end of 2022, a Times of India report, citing sources in the Ministry of Railways, claimed on March 31.
Currently, the production units linked to the Indian Railways are dependent on the import of parts from China to manufacture Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches.
As per the target, the Integral Coach Factory, Rail Coach Factory and Modern Coach Factory - the units linked to the Railways - would achieve 100 percent indigenisation in the manufacturing of LHB coaches by the end of next year, according to the Times of India report.
The components currently imported from China are wheel discs and semi-finished axles. In 2020-21, around 6,000 LHB wheels and 4,000 axles were imported from the neighbouring country, the report said.
The reliance on imported components has steadily reduced over the past few years. Around 1.6 percent of the total components used for the manufacturing of rail coaches are reportedly imported.
"Steps have been taken to indigenize forged wheel manufacturing through SAIL, Durgapur and Forged Wheel Plant of RINL being set up at Raebareli," the newspaper quoted an official as saying.
The Railways has entered into an off-take contract for 80,000 wheels per annum with Forged Wheel Plant of RINL, the official added.The target to switch to 100 percent indigenous manufacturing is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's focus on Aatmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India. The campaign was launched by PM Modi last year, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, to boost the domestic manufacturing sector.