Rae Bareli, Nov 7
Complimenting the Railways for commissioning of Lalganj Rail Coach factory in her parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli in such a short time, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today flagged off the seven coaches. The Rs 2,500 crore project in Lalganj was earlier slated to be inaugurated in July but was postponed due to issue of compensation to the farmers whose land was acquired for the same.
Taking a dig at her detractors, Ms Gandhi said a lot of rumours were floated since the work at the Coach factory had started in 2009, but the commendable task executed by the Railways made sure the project was commissioned in a short time. The Congress president not only formally inaugurated the factory by flagging off the coaches but in a symbolic display also distributed appointment letters to 14 people whose land was acquired for the factory.
Though some of the coaches rolled out from the factory are already being used in Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains, the formal inauguration of the unit was pending.
She said the coach factory would herald a new era of development in the region as other subsidiaries would be set up after this. She expressed satisfaction that the Railways ministry managed to fulfill its promise to provide jobs to local people. Ms Gandhi, who reached here on a two-day visit, said that Rs 800 crore had already been invested in the RCF project and more investments would be made in the future.
She also laid the foundation stone of a multi-functional complex at Rae Bareli station and doubling of Rae Bareli-Utretia rail track between Rae Bareli and Lucknow. The doubling of the 66 km track will be completed by February 2015 at a cost of Rs 299 crore while the multi-functional complex will cost Rs 1.4 crore and get functional by June 2013.
Addressing the gathering at the function organised on the occasion, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the RCF, spread over a 430 hectare area, would roll out 1,000 coaches per year. Gradually, the capacity of the RCF would be raised to 3,000 coaches per year.
He said the factory would provide unique opportunities for the locals to get jobs and also it would help in developing the area.
Senior railway officials were also present on the occasion.
Ms Gandhi is also scheduled to visit Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) later in the day and thereafter lay the foundation of houses for weaker section in Barwaripur. After this, she will inaugurate the umbrella on the statue of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the district panchayat building. Besides, the Congress president is slated to inaugurate the Mahboob Shah Alam dargah.