Saturday, August 7, 2010

Concern over delay in rail factory project

ALAPPUZHA: With the proposed Kerala Rail Component Factory project at Cherthala getting delayed inordinately, employees of the steel fabrication unit (SFU) of the Steel Industrials Kerala Limited (SILK) here have expressed concern over their future, and that of the project itself.

As per the agreement signed between the Railways and the State government, a joint venture company (JVC), taking over the steel fabrication unit and then the Autokast factory in a phased manner, was to be set up. However, even after a memorandum of understanding was signed in June 2008, the company is yet to be registered, say the employees of SFU, which has already been detached from SILK.

If the company is not registered as per the terms agreed to between the Railways and the State, Kerala might lose the Rs.85 crore that was sanctioned for the purpose in the railway budget, the employees fear. The capital investment for the new company is Rs.36 crore, out of which the States share is 49 per cent. After the value of the land and assets owned by the State, a sum of Rs.2.7 crore has to be deposited with the Railways. Apart from this, the provident fund arrears of about 40 SFU employees, the electricity bill dues of the SFU and other arrears, which are to be paid by the State, come up to Rs.6 crore.

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