Central Organization for Modernization of Workshops

The Railway Ministry recently announced the closure of Central Organization for Modernisation of Workshops (COFMOW), with effect from 1st December 2022.

Key facts

  • The Central Organization for Modernisation of Workshops (COFMOW) is a centre of excellence under the Indian Railways.
  • This public sector undertaking was established in 1979.
  • The centre for modernizing the Indian Railways’ workshops was set up with funding support from the World Bank.
  • Over the last 4 decades, this organization has helped modernize the production units and workshops. During this period, it had procured more than 24,707 machines, worth Rs.7,650 crore, and as a result, acquired expertise in setting specifications for equipment, machinery and plants to meet the clients’ requirements.
  • In line with the recommendations of the Principal Economic Advisor (under the Ministry of Finance), to rationalize government bodies, the COFMOW is being closed down.
  • These recommendations were given in the Sanyal report from Sanjeev Sanyal, the then Principal Economic Advisor.
  • From December 1st onwards, the centre’s functions would be undertaken by the Railway Board’s traction and rolling stock division. It will not be able to float tenders. Its active projects are to be taken up by the zonal railways and other railway divisions.
  • The COFMOW officers are to be transferred to other divisions. Non-gazetted officers are to be redeployed or released.
  • Other major establishments that were wound up include SRESTHA (Special Railway Establishment for Strategic and Holistic Advancement) in Lucknow and IROAF (Indian Railways Organisation of Alternative Fuel) in New Delhi.
  • The recent decision comes a year after the decision to close down IRSDC (Indian Railway Station Development Corporation).
  • The Sanyal report had recommended mergers and dissolutions to restructure the railways with its over 40 corporate undertakings and institutions. Some recommendations include:
  1. Merger of IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) and RailTel
  2. Subsuming CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems) under IRCTC
  3. Closure of Central Organisation for Railway Electrification

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