Jaipur: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Sunday laid the foundation stone for a Rs 800 crore Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) coach factory in Bhilwara of Rajasthan.
With the setting up of the project, textile city Bhilwara would get a new identity as the home of the MEMU coach factory.
The factory, approved in the Rail Budget 2013-14, is a joint effort by Railways, Rajasthan government and BHEL.
An MoU was signed on February 25 this year between Railways and BHEL for the project.
Another MoU, between Railways and Rajasthan government, was signed on October 21 for providing 518 acres of land free of cost for the factory.
Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former Railway Minister and Bhilwara MP, CP Joshi, were present at the foundation stone laying ceremony along with several senior railway officers.
Once operational, the factory will meet the demand of MEMU coaches to a large extent. Besides, it would generate direct and indirect employment and give a thrust to development in the area.
The entire cost of the factory would be incurred by BHEL.
Presently, the only unit manufacturing MEMU coaches is the Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala, which can turn out about 112 coaches per year.
MEMU trains, which have a higher carrying capacity, are very popular on non-suburban sections. These trains are usually used by local commuters to travel from rural areas and small towns to bigger cities for work.
These trains are more powerful and have faster acceleration and deceleration as compared to conventional trains.