ICF, please wake up!

I tried writing to ICF officials about the quality of rakes on August 10th, 2009. I sent the mail to the following email IDs provided on ICF’s website: gm@icf.railnet.gov.in,

The mail bounced from all the IDs. So I resent it at least 5 more times, with the same result every single time. This is not what one expects from a supposedly world class, modern & efficient manufacturing unit. Nevertheless, here is the mail which I had intended to send to ICF officials:

Respected Sirs,

This is regarding the so called “high class” “revolutionary” EMU rakes that ICF has been turning out for MRVC.

With great regret I have to say that the quality of those rakes is really really pathetic. The workmanship is of the lowest possible standards. Welding is very crude. Finishing of the outside sidewalls is terrible. The walls should be smooth as silk, but they are very wavy. The rakes do not look as if the cost Rs 20 crores. The sheet metal for the interior ceiling is not properly aligned anywhere. There are wide panel gaps everywhere. There are 1 inch gaps in the long seats at the ends of every compartment which makes sitting uncomfortable. The fit and finish is disgusting, to say the least.

Paint quality too is very very bad. There is very less gloss on the paint. Rusting of rakes is very common. All rakes start rusting before they reach Mumbai. The sidewall of one of the rakes (number: 207 121 to 124, despatched from ICF on 18th May 2009) has rust at at least 15 places on each coach. This is the condition of a rake which is not even three months old. What does this say about the quality of the work done by ICF? ICF was supposed to use stainless steel to prevent rusting. But I think that it is only a lie. From the rate at which the rakes are rusting, no one will ever believe that they are made of stainless steel. The roofs of all rakes have rusted a lot. On the roof of some coaches, there is more rust than paint.

And the quality is deteriorating by the day. The first ever MRVC rake has less than half rusting than the latest MRVC rake. The paint on the first rake still looks better than the paint on the newest rake.

I wonder whether there is any such thing like quality control at ICF? It looks like no one has any control over the quality of rakes manufactured by ICF. Coaches which do not rust in 2 weeks after manufacturing is a very very basic criterion which should be fulfilled. Unfortunately the so called “hi tech”, “world class”, “revolutionary” rakes are not fulfilling this basic requirement. What right do you have to call the rakes as high tech?

In addition to such horrible, pathetic, shameful quality levels, ICF is not even manufacturing the rakes at the pre-decided rate of 4 rakes every month. As per communication recieved from the Managing Director of MRVC, for the current year (2009-2010), the production plan is 48 rakes. More than four months have passed since the financial year 2009-2010 started, but ICF has manufactured only 10 rakes till date. How does ICF plan to make up for the deficit?

Since railways is a captive customer, ICF is turning out very low quality coaches, as the railways have no other choice. Frankly speaking, any rake of this quality cannot be costing Rs 20 crores. Taking 20 crores and turning out sub standard coaches is nothing but CHEATING.

When will ICF improve???

Akshay Marathe


2 thoughts on “ICF, please wake up!

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