Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the ‘Make in India’ Madhepura Electric Locomotive Facility to the nation and remotely flagged off the country’s first all-electric locomotive from Madhepura in Bihar.
Railway is responsible for generating 22 million tonnes of Carbon dioxide every year. The railways had been working towards electrifying its major routes in order to make an efficient use of energy while reducing the carbon footprint. The new electric locomotive will help reducing the emissions by 30 to 40 per cent every year.
Manufactured in India, under a landmark Joint Venture between Alstom (76%) and Indian Railways (24%), this electric locomotive project marks a transformational step change for rail freight movement in India as well as the region of Madhepura.
The ‘WAG12’ double section locomotives are capable of hauling 6,000 tonnes, at a maximum speed of 120 km/h. This is because of its 12,000 Horsepower which will allow faster and safer movement of heavier freight trains across the country. It will also contribute towards reduction of noise pollution.
The electric locomotives will eventually move to the testing and maintenance depot at Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh before being introduced to the mainline network as part of the freight fleet.
Mr. Alain Spohr, Managing Director, India & South Asia, Alstom said, “We are confident that this facility will pave the way for the industrial development in Bihar and will act as a gateway of opportunities for the region.”
In Madhepura, the company is working towards developing an ecosystem to enable local manufacturers to set up manufacturing units in and around the area. The active and targeted community action programme focusing on skill development and education will further prepare more than 5000 young minds for gainful employment. The company will adopt a local ITI to provide skill development to 840 students over the next 10 years. Of these, 300 students will be absorbed for apprenticeship programmes within the facility. This will work in tandem with focused scholarship programmes for meritorious students in schools in the area to develop children from an early age as well.
Other initiatives for supporting the local communities include healthcare interventions by the company like mobile medical units in the area with doctors on board, health and wellness awareness camps, free medication distribution and special services for women and children.
The electric locomotive is a win-win to the Indian economy. It is not only energy efficient and sustainable, but with the “Make in India” aspect involved, it is also socially beneficial in terms of generating employment and upgrading the skills along with infrastructure.
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The CSR Journal Team