Coal sits in freight wagons ahead of transportation. (Photographer: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg)

Railway Minister Says India Facing Shortage Of Wagons

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said India faces a shortage of wagon as private suppliers have not been able to meet demand.

“As the dedicated freight corridors comes on line and as we increase our capacity on various routes, we need more wagons,” Goyal, who also has the charge of the finance ministry in Arun Jaitley’s absence, said on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi today. “It’s going to be a continuing challenge to ensure wagon availability. We are today stressed with shortage of wagons. I would appeal to the Indian industry to gear up.”

Goyal said there’s a need of 1,00,000 wagons over the next five years. The government wanted to buy 22,000 wagons but is holding back as 18,000 are yet to be delivered, he said. The national carrier needs more wagons to meet the demand for upcoming new dedicated freight corridor, coal offtake and transportation of edible items.\

Texmaco Rail and Engineering Ltd. and Titagarh Wagons Ltd. supply wagons to the Indian Railways.

“In the last three-four years, order placement by railways was very poor. This is the reason for present shortfall,” JP Chowdhary, chairman and managing director or Titagarh Wagons told BloombergQuint over the phone. The new orders came two months back and we have started supplying.”

Calls to Texmaco’s spokesperson remained unanswered.

“There is a huge demand. The Indian industry should prepare to meet this huge volume and bring down the prices to make it more competitive,” Goyal said. “Coal India alone would require 50,000 wagons going ahead.”

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