We are finalising the proposal to set up a wheel factory in joint venture with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) at Raebareli. a senior Railway Ministry official said. The proposed Rs 500 crore wheel factory is expected to be announced in the 2013-14 Rail Budget by Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. Railways will provide land and other facilities like water and electricity while RINL will invest money for the project. RINL is also setting up an axle factory at New Jalpaiguri and MoU has been signed with the Railway Ministry for it. A portion of the existing land at Rail Coach Factory will be utilised for setting up the wheel plant, he said, Railways had acquired 541 hectares of land for the modern rail coach factory of which 283 hectares belonged to private land owners. Raebareli wheel plant is expected to produce 50,000 wheels in a year for coaches, wagons and locomotives. There are two wheel factories at Durgapur and Bangalore. Railways require more than three lakh wheels a year and depends on import of wheels from China and Europe. Railways will not have to depend on imports if Chhapra and Raebareli wheel plants become functional, he said. The Rs 1,500 crore Chhapra wheel plant is being equipped to manufacture about one lakh wheels per year.
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