Railways scrap tender for Vande Bharat trains month after getting bids from Chinese JV

The move comes after Chinese joint venture company CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Private Limited emerged as the only foreign bidder for the global tender floated for manufacturing 44 rakes of Vande Bharat trains in July.
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.(HT PHOTO.)
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.(HT PHOTO.)
Updated on Aug 21, 2020 11:33 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAnisha Dutta | Edited by Sohini Sarkar

The Indian Railways has cancelled its global tender issued for manufacturing 44 sets of semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains, the ministry of railways announced late on Friday.

“Tender for manufacturing of 44 sets of semi high speed train set (Vande Bharat) has been cancelled. A fresh tender will be floated within a week as per Revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order,” the ministry said.

The move comes after Chinese joint venture company CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Private Limited emerged as the only foreign bidder for the global tender floated for manufacturing 44 rakes of Vande Bharat trains in July.

ALSO READ | Chinese JV among six bidders for Vande Bharat trains

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

According to officials aware of the development, the tender has been scrapped after the Chinese JV was shortlisted and was likely to bag the contract. The new tender will be aimed to give impetus to the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat mission and promote Indian firms.

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.

The other five bidders included 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.

ALSO READ | China-India joint venture only foreign bidder for Vande Bharat train sets

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 the death of 20 Indian and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers. India has also banned 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.

Apex traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had also objected to the bid placed by a Chinese joint venture company for a global tender by the railways for manufacturing Vande Bharat trains. The traders body had written to union railway minister Piyush Goyal earlier urging him to not allow the bid placed by the Chinese joint venture company CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Private Limited which is one of the six bidders for the project.

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 the 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.

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Monday, January 17, 2022