Indian Railways’ ambitious Rs 2500 cr trainset project, a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme has suffered a setback as the shortlisted bidders have sought more time and changes in the bidding documents before submitting the financial bids.
Railways had floated global tenders in June last year for procurement, maintenance and manufacture of a total of 316 coaches for 17 transets for faster inter-city travel.
As per the request for proposal for the project, while 276 coaches will be manufactured in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme, 40 would be imported.
Accordingly five bidders were qualified for bidding and were expected to submit bids by December-end last year. But now with the bidders developing cold feet over the project, the bid submission date has been pushed to February-end.
Now bidders want the number of coaches to increase from 316 to 1,000 as they feel just 300 plus is not adequate enough for them to set up shops here for manufacturing purpose, according to sources.
The five bidders who have qualified for the project are Alstom-BEML, CAF-Bombardier, Hitachi-Ansaldo, Kawasaki-Toshiba-BHEL and Siemens.
We have called a pre-bid meeting with the bidders on January 25 to sort out the issue raised by them, sources added.
While the successful bidder will be importing two trainsets, the rest would have to be manufactured in the country as per the bidding condition.
If they bidders decline to open a manufacturing base here it would be a setback to the ‘Make in India’ programme.
Introduction of the much-awaited trainset project was announced by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in his Rail Budget 2015-16.
A trainset comprises coaches or railway cars where each coach is powered by a dedicated propulsion system and there is no locomotive required to haul the train.