Tender For 44 Vande Bharat Trains Cancelled After Bid From Chinese Joint Venture

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Vande Bharat
Vande Bharat

The move to cancel the tender is a big setback for China as a Chinese joint venture, CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Pvt Ltd, was the only foreign bidder among the six contenders to supply 44 sets of semi-high speed train

India has cancelled a tender for making 44 semi-high speed “Vande Bharat” trains, the Railway Ministry said on Friday night. It said a fresh tender will be floated within a week and give preference to the centre’s Make In India programme.

The move to cancel the tender is a big setback for China as a Chinese joint venture, CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Pvt Ltd, was the only foreign bidder among the six contenders to supply 44 sets of semi-high speed train.

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

Tender for manufacturing of 44 nos of semi high speed train sets (Vande Bharat) has been cancelled.

Fresh tender will be floated within a week as per Revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order.— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) August 21, 2020

The joint venture was formed between China-based CRRC Yongji Electric Company Ltd and Gurugram-based Pioneer Fil-Med Pvt Ltd in 2015.

The railways is keen to ensure that a domestic firm takes the tender and once it was felt that the Chinese joint venture was a frontrunner for the project, it was scrapped, news agency PTI reported quoting unnamed sources.

The Indian Railways’ Integral Coach Factory in Chennai had floated the tender on July 10.

The other five bidders were Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Bharat Industries, Sangrur, Electrowaves Electronics Pvt Ltd, Medha Servo Drives Pvt Ltd, and Powernetics Equipment India Pvt Ltd, according to the Railway Ministry.

India has tightened trade ties with China after border tensions escalated to a violent face-off in eastern Ladakh in June. India lost 20 soldiers, while Chinese casualties were over 40, according to reports.

India has responded in a multidimensional way, from using diplomatic pressure with friendly nations to banning imports of Chinese products such as solar power equipment. The economic backlash extended to blocking 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, which had a massive user base in India.

The railways has already scrapped a tender for thermal cameras meant for COVID-19 surveillance after Indian firms alleged that the tender specifications favoured a Chinese company. The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd too cancelled a ₹ 470-crore contract with a Chinese firm days after the border clash in mid-June.

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