More than a month after a state-owned Chinese rolling stock major emerged as the sole foreign company in the bid to manufacture 44 Vande Bharat trainsets, Indian Railways Friday cancelled the tender and said a fresh tender will be called within a week as per India’s revised public procurement policy. The policy took shape over the past month or so in the wake of tension with China over a border standoff.
“Fresh tender will be floated within a week as per Revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order,” Ministry of Railways said in a statement late Friday.
Sources said this was on the cards since it emerged that none of the globally renowned rolling stock manufacturing companies from Europe had participated in the international tender.
In the meantime, the rolling stock industry had been pointing out technical issues in the tender requirements while explaining why they gave this large tender a miss, the sources said. Industry sources said they had also been seeking certain technical revisions in the tender for better participation.
Chinese state-owned rolling stock major CRRC Corporation had emerged as the only foreign player to bid for the Railways’ tender for its ambitious semi-high speed Train 18 project on July 10.
CRRC had entered into a joint venture with a Gurgaon-based company to place its bid under the name CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Private Limited.
It was one of the six contenders for the tender for procuring propulsion systems or electric traction kits for 44 trains — to be branded as Vande Bharat Express or Train 18.
Other contenders among the total six bidders included Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Hyderabad-based Medha Group — one of the makers of the existing Vande Bharat rakes — Electrowaves Electronic Pvt Ltd and Mumbai-based Powernetics Equipments Pvt Ltd.
Officials said that going by the cost of manufacturing the first Train 18, which was launched last year — it was Rs 100 crore, of which Rs 35 crore was for the propulsion system alone — the present tender for 44 such kits would have been worth over Rs 1,500 crore.
Major players in the industry like Bombardier, Alstom, Siemens, CAF, Talgo and Mitsubishi did not participate in the bid.
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