State-run SAIL, the only supplier of rails to the Indian Railways, supplied 6.20 lakh tonnes of rails to the national transporter, Parliament was informed today.
This supply was about 40 per cent less against the demand of 10.05 lakh tonnes made during 2016-17, Parliament was informed today.
To a question whether SAIL is “lagging behind to meet the demand for new rails of the Indian Railways for track renewal and capacity augmentation,” Minister of State for Steel Vishnu Deo Sai said in 2014-15, railways ordered 5.81 lakh tonnes of rails and received 5.84 lakh tonnes.
In 2015-16, the PSU steel major supplied 6.46 lakh tonnes of rails as against the order of 8.12 lakh tonnes. In the following fiscal, the PSU supplied 6.20 lakh tonnes to the public sector transporter as against the order of 10.05 lakh tonnes, the minister informed the Lok Sabha through a written reply.
SAIL has taken steps to augment its capacity by setting up a rail mill at its Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhattisgarh, the minister said.
“During April-November 2017, SAIL supplied 5.55 lakh tonnes to the railways, which is an increase of 43 per cent over corresponding period last year, when it was 3.89 lakh tonnes,” Sai said.
Until now, as per an MoU, state-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is the only company supplying rails to the railways. SAIL manufactures 260-metre long rails at its Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) in Chhattisgarh.
The Ministry of Railways recently floated a global tender to procure 7 lakh tonnes of rails worth Rs 3,500 crore. This is the first time that the railways has come up with such a tender.
Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), the only domestic player holding experience in rails making and supplying, is interested in the tender. Its Raigarh plant has a capacity to produce 1 million tonnes of rails, about 30 per more than the railways requirement