In­dia gets first diesel loco from GE; work on Bi­har fac­tory on track

Millennium Post - - NATION - MPOST BU­REAU

NEW DELHI: The first diesel-elec­tric lo­co­mo­tive built by US con­glom­er­ate Gen­eral Elec­tric as part of a $2.5 bil­lion deal to sup­ply 1,000 such en­gines to the Rail­ways has ar­rived in In­dia.

The project, a joint ven­ture between the In­dian Rail­ways and GE to sup­ply and main­tain mod­ern diesel elec­tric lo­co­mo­tives of 4,500 HP and 6,000 HP to the pub­lic trans­porter, was an­nounced in Novem­ber 2015.

GE said the work on a diesel lo­co­mo­tive fac­tory in Bi­har's Marhowrah is on track, days af­ter Rail­way Min­is­ter Piyush Goyal ruled out any changes in the deal.

But with govern­ment's thrust on elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of tracks to com­bat pol­lu­tion, there was a buzz, and some me­dia re­ports that it could exit the con­tract.

"The first of 1,000 diese­l­elec­tric evo­lu­tion se­ries lo­co­mo­tives has al­ready ar­rived at In­dia's Mun­dra Port," Vishal Wan­choo, Pres­i­dent and CEO GE South Asia, told PTI on the side­lines of the In­ter­na­tional Rail Con­fer­ence and the 12th edi­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Rail Equip­ment Ex­hi­bi­tion (IREE) here to­day.

"The work in our diesel fac­tory in Bi­har is on track and as the min­is­ter has said there are no changes in the con­tract," he said, adding GE was ac­tu­ally ahead of sched­ule.

The plan is to de­liver 100 lo­co­mo­tives per year on an av­er­age. The first fis­cal year will be lit­tle bit more. We plan to de­liver the 1,000 lo­co­mo­tives to the In­dian Rail­ways over 11 years, he said.

"Our part­ner­ship with the In­dian Rail­ways is a best-in­class bi­lat­eral ex­am­ple of how en­ti­ties can work to­gether to cre­ate jobs and drive eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in a re­gion," said Wan­choo. "Through this project, we're cre­at­ing a ro­bust sup­ply chain ecosys­tem in In­dia, and will lo­cal­ize more than 70 per cent of all con­tent. We're proud of the more than 6,000 jobs that have been cre­ated by GE in Bi­har and Ut­tar Pradesh, and re­main com­mit­ted to our work in the coun­try," he said.

Goyal had last month said there would be no changes in the Marhowrah fac­tory set up.

But, the rail­way min­is­ter had also said he had dis­cus­sions with top ex­ec­u­tives of GE to ex­plore how the ob­jec­tives of re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion, bring­ing down over­all cost and hon­our­ing agree­ments with the global con­glom­er­ate be met.

Wan­choo said GE has no plans to man­u­fac­ture elec­tric lo­co­mo­tives at the Marhowrah fac­tory. "GE bid for diesel lo­co­mo­tives and our Bi­har plant can man­u­fac­ture only diesel lo­co­mo­tives. Two con­tracts were floated and we bid for the diesel plant.

"How­ever, we sup­port the govern­ment's elec­tri­fi­ca­tion process. In ev­ery coun­try that we op­er­ate, we sup­ply th­ese lo­co­mo­tives. Most coun­tries wherein we op­er­ate have an elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gram, which makes a lot of sense, but the diesel lo­co­mo­tives also co-ex­ist for var­i­ous rea­sons as they are ef­fi­cient and af­ford­able," Wan­choo said. NEW DELHI: The tourism min­istry has reg­is­tered a growth of over 18 per cent in for­eign tourist arrivals in the coun­try in Septem­ber 2017 over the same pe­riod last year.

The num­ber of for­eign tourist arrivals (FTA) in In­dia in Septem­ber 2017 was 7.23 lakh as com­pared to 6.08 lakh in Septem­ber 2016 and 5.43 lakh in Septem­ber, 2015, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by the min­istry.

"The growth rate in FTAS in Septem­ber 2017 over Septem­ber 2016 is 18.8 per cent com­pared to 12.1 per cent in Septem­ber 2016 over Septem­ber 2015," the state­ment said.

Most tourists came from Bangladesh (29.65 per cent) fol­lowed by the US (10.24 per cent), the UK (7.04 per cent), Sri Lanka (3.98 per cent), Aus­tralia (3.50 per cent), Malaysia (3.32 per cent) and Ger­many (2.57 per cent), among oth­ers.

With al­most 29 per cent share of FTAS, the Delhi air­port re­mained the busiest fol­lowed by Hari­daspur Land Check Post (16.06 per cent), Mum­bai Air­port (13.57 per cent) and Chen­nai Air­port (6.56 per cent). The min­istry com­piles monthly es­ti­mates of FTAS, in­clud­ing those with e-tourist visas, on the ba­sis of their na­tion­al­ity and port, courtesy the data re­ceived from Bu­reau of Im­mi­gra­tion (BOI).

Septem­ber 2017 also saw a sub­stan­tial rise in the num­ber of tourists ar­riv­ing on e-visas.

"Dur­ing the month of Septem­ber 2017 to­tal of 1.18 lakh tourist ar­rived on e-tourist Visa as com­pared to 0.69 lakh dur­ing Septem­ber 2016, reg­is­ter­ing a growth of 71 per cent," the state­ment said.

From Jan­uary to Septem­ber this year, 10.67 lakh tourists ar­rived on e-tourist Visa as com­pared to 6.75 lakh dur­ing the same pe­riod last year, reg­is­ter­ing a growth of 58 per cent, it said.

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