Indian Railways’ ambitious Rs 2,500 crore trainset project, a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, suffered a major setback with none of the shortlisted bidders filing tenders.
Today was the last day for submitting the bids.
A trainset comprises coaches where each car is powered by a dedicated propulsion system and there is no locomotive required to haul the train.
“Today was the last date for the submission of the financial bids for the trainset project. But all five shortlisted bidders did not submit any bids. So in the absence of any bidding till the last day, the tendering process gets discharged,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Railways had extended the deadline for submitting the bids twice at the request of potential bidders.
The official said Railways will now explore how to revive the project.
Railways had floated global tenders in June last year for procurement, maintenance and manufacture of a total of 316 coaches for 17 trainsets 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.
Five bidders had qualified and were expected to submit tenders by December-end last year. The bid submission date was later pushed to February-end.
The bidders then wanted the number of coaches to be increased from 316 to 1,000 as they felt with fewer cars to be manufactured the project will not be financially viable for them. At their request the deadline for submitting the bids was further extended to May 2.
The five bidders who had qualified for the project are Alstom-BEML, CAF-Bombardier, Hitachi-Ansaldo, Siemens and Kawasaki-Toshiba-BHEL.
While the successful bidder will be importing two trainsets, the rest would have to be manufactured in the country as per the bidding conditions.
Introduction of the much-awaited trainset project was announced by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in his Rail Budget 2015-16.