Minister unveils indigenous crane
The Statesman, Kolkata
June 16. — The minister of state for railways, Mr Naranbhai J Rathwa, today dedicated an indigenously-built crane of capable of hauling a 140-tonne weight to the nation at Rampurhat station complex. With the crane being commissioned, the Eastern Railway’s fleet of high-haulage cranes has now swelled to five. The other such cranes are stationed at Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol and Sahebganj station complexes.
Mr Rathwa said the ministry of railways was planning to introduce more such indigenously-built cranes in all major stations. “Commissioning these cranes is part of the comprehensive disaster management plan adopted by the ministry. These cranes can be pressed into service during any rescue operation. Since we need to start relief work on a priority basis, these cranes should be close at hand at the nearest possible location,” Mr Rathwa said. The minister said efforts were on to improve the designs of the cranes and increase their haulage.
Senior railway officials said six mega cranes were first imported from Gottwald company of Germany in 1986 for use in rescue operations. They cost Rs 12 crore each.
“In the next months, eighteen more cranes were manufactured in the railway’s Jamalpur workshop using the technology transferred by the German manufacturing firm. By 1999-2000, the Jamalpur workshop had indigenously built 140-tonne cranes at the much reduced cost of Rs 7 crore,” a senior Eastern Railway official said.
The cranes are capable of hauling objects weighing maximum 140 tonne with a radius of 8.5 metres and can work over a radius of 18 metres. Though the cranes are meant to be used during rescue operations, they would not be a part of the railways’ accident relief train yet.
photos of the German crane-version: