Positive signs have emerged for units of BHEL Small Industries Association (BHELSIA) for utilising their spare capacity to fabricate components suiting requirement of railways.
Based on the representation made by BHELSIA to Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the Golden Rock Railway Workshop arranged for a vendor meet last week to explain the potential available with railways and also to explain the registration process.
Around 450 MSME units in and around Tiruchi that have been serving BHEL – Tiruchi unit since 1966 have developed the expertise to be known as one of the best fabrication hubs of South Asia.
The Tiruchi Engineering Cluster used to provide direct employment to 20,000 workers and indirect employment to an equal number of people started facing setback since 2012-13 when the coal contract issued to various agencies was cancelled by the Supreme Court, resulting in lower order position for BHEL.
But, anticipating huge orders, all the units went for expansion and the manufacturing capacity was increased to seven lakh metric tonnes per annum.
To sustain and utilise the capacity and capability created, the BHELSIA has now planned to take up orders from Defence and Railways.
The BHELSIA, last year, expressed interest in signing a long-term contract with railways for developing new products by investing on any special purpose vehicle as required.
On its part, the Central Government has taken cognisance of the problems of the Tiruchi Engineering Cluster and initiated measures for rehabilitating the stressed units.
A presentation made at the vendor meet by BHELSIA president Rajappa Rajkumar about the facilities available in Tiruchi was well received by the railway officials.
The vendors also visited the workshop to have an understanding of the components that they are capable of manufacturing for the requirement of railways.
Senior officials apprised the vendors of the potential for undertaking orders from the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, as well, and the inspection procedure of RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service) Limited.
“The vendor meet was very much useful. We are confident of taking orders from railways and using the spare capacity for the benefit of the MSME units in Tiruchi,” Mr. Rajappa Rajkumar said.