Message from the CAO’s Desk.
Rail Wheel Plant/Bela Situated on the North of Ganges, between Sonepur & Chhapra towns in Saran district of Bihar, and surrounded by green fields and sparsely located ‘Kutcha’ houses, the Rail Wheel Plant (RWP) spreads over 295 acres of land. With a four story glass walled Administrative building, shining Aluminium roof sheds, unique-design over head water tanks and tall exhaust chimneys, the RWP has changed the landscape and sky line of the area.
The Plant has been set up by Indian Railways through its Workshop Project Organisation (WPO), Patna which awarded a turnkey contract for the main Plant to M/s L&T in July 2008. Unlike RWF/Bengaluru, this Plant has been set up without going in for expensive transfer of technology and has a capacity to manufacture 1,00,000 wheel discs per annum. It will meet the growing demand of wheel discs on IR through imports substitution, thereby saving precious foreign exchange. The RWP is a state of the art, fully automated plant using a unique “bottom pressure pouring” technique of casting wheel discs in graphite moulds.
The ancillary works like Officers’ and Staff colonies, track connectivity from Nayagaon (ECR) station, communication facilities, IT works (including ERP) are being set up by WPO/Patna through separate contracts. The Plant is presently in a nascent stage of production, with the Project stage not yet over. This transition stage has several challenges as the staff goes through the learning curve trying to solve the teething troubles, experienced in any new process plant of this size and complexity.
Most of the staff has to necessarily stay at Patna due to lack of educational, medical and living facilities available at the site. Despite daily commuting for 4 to 6 hrs., passing over the Ganga bridge and through the congested roads of Vaishali and Saran districts, the staff and officers are committed to make RWP/Bela as a world class facility for manufacture of Rail wheel discs.
The Plant, when fully commissioned, will have 42 officers and 1000 staff, which are a mix of personnel directly recruited through RRB/RRC and those who opted to come on transfer from other Railway units to this remote village of Bihar. They have all been trained at RWF/Begaluru or at OEM’s works for operation and maintenance of machines. Presently, only 65% of staff is in position yet we achieved continuous three shift working for three weeks during May – June 2013.
With a dedicated team of officers and staff and Railway Board’s support, I have no doubt that RWP/Bela will become an island of excellence, fulfilling the needs of Indian Railways, and will prove out to be a growth engine for the state of Bihar in times to come.