As the Russia-Ukraine war halted the manufacturing and transport of wheels for the rakes impacting the production of Vande Bharat trains, Indian Railways for the first time floated tenders to invite private players to build a wheel plant. This move will make India self-reliant as well as draws a blueprint to become an exporter of wheels. The plant is aiming to manufacture at least 80,000 wheels every year for the super-fast Vande Bharat Express trains in India, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Friday.
In order to meet the requirement of superfast Vande Bharat trains, Indian Railways needs around two lakh wheels a year. While the Steel Authority of India (SAIL )will supply one lakh wheels, the rest will be made by the new plant. According to the plan, the new plant will be able to produce around 80,000 wheels a year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on August 15, 2021, his vision of having 75 ‘Vande Bharat’ trains that will connect different parts of the country in 75 weeks to mark ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The target now is to roll out 75 such trains by August 15, 2023. At present, there are three Vande Bharat Express trains, two on tracks and the third that recently conducted successful trail runs.