Chinese JV among six bidders for Vande Bharat trains

The JV was established jointly by China-cased CRRC Yongji Electric Co. Ltd. and Gurugram-based Pioneer Fil-med Private Limited in 2015.
Indian railways’ Integral Coach Factory, Chennai had floated a tender for manufacturing 44 rakes or train sets of semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains on July 10.
Indian railways’ Integral Coach Factory, Chennai had floated a tender for manufacturing 44 rakes or train sets of semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains on July 10.
Updated on Jul 11, 2020 01:53 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAnisha Dutta, New Delhi

Chinese joint venture company CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Private Limited is among the only foreign bidders for the global tender floated for manufacturing 44 rakes of Vande Bharat trains.

The JV was established jointly by China-cased CRRC Yongji Electric Co. Ltd. and Gurugram-based Pioneer Fil-med Private Limited in 2015.

Indian railways’ Integral Coach Factory, Chennai had floated a tender for manufacturing 44 rakes or train sets of semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains on July 10.

“We have got bids from six players for the tender,” Vinod Kumar Yadav, chairman, Railway Board, said on Friday.

The other five bidders include state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Bharat Industries, Sangrur, Electrowaves Electronics (P) Ltd, MEDHA Servo Drives Private Limited, Powernetics Equipment India Private Limited, according to the railway ministry.

This comes at a time when India and China are involved in a tense border stand-off along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. A brutal brawl in Galwan Valley on June 15 led to 20 Indian and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers dead. India has also decided to ban 59 apps, mostly with Chinese links.

The Railways has also scrapped a tender for thermal cameras meant for ‘Covid surveillance’ after Indian firms alleged that the tender specifications favoured a Chinese company, Hindustan Times reported on July 1.

In June, Railtel, the railways’ telecom arm, had issued a tender for thermal temperature screening AI-based surveillance cameras for assistance in Covid-19 surveillance. The government company has decided to issue a fresh tender after the controversy.

The ambitious ‘Make in India’ project involves the manufacturing of 44 train sets comprising 16 coaches each for Vande Bharat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the maiden run of a Vande Bharat train on New Delhi -Varanasi route on February 15, 2019. The second such train service between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra was flagged off by home minister Amit Shah on October 3, 2019.

The Railway ministry last week also began the formal process to allow a private company to run trains on 109 routes -- a process that aims to, for the first time, open up one of the government’s most prominent enterprises that has in recent decades been outpaced by the demands of a rapidly growing economy.

On whether Chinese firms will be allowed to bid for the private trains, Yadav had last week said, “As far as the question on Chinese companies arises, there are guidelines under the Make in India Policy by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and we will follow them.”

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Friday, December 03, 2021