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Covid-19 derails Pune Metro coach prototype making in Italy

Kolkata, Mar 17 (PTI) Italy's Titagarh Firema SpA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of city-based Titagarh Wagons, has deferred inaguration of manufacturing the prototype of new aluminium-bodied Pune Metro coaches, as its plant operation was suspended following the COVID-19 outbreak in that country.

The inauguration of the prototype manufacturing was supposed to begin on April 8, but it was postponed as the functioning of the company's factory was halted till March 31 following an advisory of the Italian government, a Titagarh Wagons official said here on Tuesday.

Titagarh Firema had in August last year won a Rs 1,100 crore international bid to supply Pune Metro as many as 102 ultra-modern aluminium-bodied coaches.

The city-based wagon-maker took over Italy's Firema Trasporti SpA in 2015.

'We had planned inauguration for commencement of making of the Pune Metro coach prototype on April 8. But, now it gets delayed due to the outbreak,' Titagarh Wagons MD Umesh Chowdhary told PTI.

Italy on Monday reported 349 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking its total since last month to 2,158, the most after China.

'The supply chain got disrupted and turnout of employees was low. We don't know how soon operation would get normalised,' he said.

This contract is for a total of 34 rakes, having three coaches each, which will be supplied by the firm in a span of 160 weeks.

According to terms, 90 per cent of the coaches would be made in India but it will take off only after the prototypes arrive from Italy.

The company's Italian subsidiary has lowered its operational losses in the nine months of 2019-20 to Rs 8.6 crore from Rs 17.3 crore in the year-ago period.

'We were expecting profit in 2021 backed by huge orders book worth 300 million Euros,' Chowdhary said. PTI BSM NN NN