Indian Railways, which had last year floated Rs 2,500-crore tender for procurement-cum-maintenance of 15 EMU-based train sets, is facing delays due to the issues raised by the five qualified bidders.
The tender had witnessed participation from seven companies and consortium, of which five qualified to participate in the financial bids, which were set to open in January, 2016.
According to the tender document, the selected bidder is required to manufacture and supply 15 electric multiple unit (EMU) train sets comprising 315 rail cars. The bidder will be allowed to procure two prototype train sets and the subsequent train sets will have to be manufactured in India.
“The qualified bidders have raised certain issues due to which there has been a delay in the whole process. The bidders want the ministry to increase the contract size to 1,000 rail cars, as they contend that setting up of a factory will not make economic sense for just 315 rail cars,” a senior railway official said. “The bidders have also asked to be given more time for submitting the financial bids as they want to make realistic assessments, there are other issues to which they have brought up we are trying to address them too,” the official added.
The consortia of CAF & Bombardier; Hitachi with Ansaldo & Kawasaki; Toshiba with government-owned Bharat Heavy Electrical’s Ltd; Alstom with government-owned Bharat Earth Movers; and Siemens alone, qualified in November last year to participate in the financial bids. Sources in the rail ministry state that due to the various issues raised by the bidders the financial bids have been delayed and will now take place before the end of February ,2016. Officials at the rail ministry state that the tender should be awarded by the end of March,2016.
The two types of EMU train sets that are to be procured should comprise 20 rail cars with sleeper arrangement and 16 rail cars with sitting arrangement respectively. The ministry has proposed to entrust the maintenance obligation to the winning bidder for a period of seven years out of its life of 35 years, after which it’s maintenance will be undertaken by the Indian Railways. The depot site for EMU train sets is proposed to be near Ghaziabad on Northern Railway.
EMU train sets will operate at speeds ranging from 130-160 km per hour. The railways proposes to introduce in the near future these modern EMU train sets for running premium Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains, without any additional expenditure on existing track and signalling infrastructure.