Dispute Between SAIL & Indian Railways to be Resolved Soon

The Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and the Indian Railways (IRCTC) are going through the dispute related to the quantity and supply of high-quality steel rails. A three-member committee has been set up by the govt. to resolve the ongoing dispute.

According to media reports, a team from the University of Illinois conducted a study Transportation Technology Transfer (TTT).  The study stated that the materials provided to the Indian Railways are of lower quality and not suitable to run 25-tonne axle load wagons. Also, these rails are not suitable for high-speed (160 kmph) passengers operations.

This led to a huge blow to an infrastructure expansion plan “Mission 25 Tonne” of the Railways to move 70 per cent of its freight traffic on higher axle load wagons by 2019-20. 

It has been observed under the reports that;
• As a point of comparison, the IR’s 880 Mpa rail is of lower strength than even the standard grade used in the US. 
• Importance of rail as an asset from both the safety and reliability point of view of IR’s operation of both passenger and freight trains on the same infrastructure (rails).

Transportation Technology Transfer (TTT) recommended the use of higher strength rails.

However, the SAIL reported that the rails were supplied after a third party inspection, which was done by the RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service).

According to the official spokesperson of the SAIL, “In 2019-20, SAIL fulfilled almost 98 per cent of the commitment made to the Railways with the highest-ever production of 985,000 tonnes of UTS-90 rails and this year we will be meeting the entire committed quantity.”

The official also claimed that the authority has fulfilled all the quality parameters of the Rail Manual issued by the Railway’s Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO). Also, the SAIL and the RDSO are working together on thick web asymmetrical rails, copper-molybdenum rails and high-strength vanadium alloyed rails to meet the requirements of the Railways.

Key Points at a Glance:

About Indian railways (IRCTC)
• Headquarter of Indian railways - New Delhi.
• Union Minister of Railways - Piyush Goyal (constituency- Maharashtra)
• Railways Minister for State- Suresh Channabasappa Angadi (constituency- Belagavi, Karnataka)

About Steel Authority of India (SAIL)
• Headquarter of SAIL- New Delhi
• CEO of SAIL - Anil Kumar Chaudhary.
• Establishment Date - January 19, 1954.
• Union Minister - Dharmendra Pradhan (constituency-Madhya Pradesh)
• Minister for State- Faggan Singh Kulaste (constituency- Mandla, Madhya Pradesh).