Chinese firm out, Indian firm in? Now, Birla group wants to complete Indian Railways DFC signalling work

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Published: July 21, 2020 3:55 PM

Texmaco Rail and Engineering Limited managed by the KK Birla group has written to the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Limited (DFCCIL), the executing company of the DFC project, proposing to take over the unfinished work.

Recently, the KK Birla group has evinced interest in completing the unfinished signalling and telecommunication work on the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.

Days after Indian Railways terminated the Rs 470-crore contract of a Chinese company for poor progress on signalling and telecommunication work, an Indian company is keen on completing the unfinished work. Recently, the KK Birla group has evinced interest in completing the unfinished signalling and telecommunication work on the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), according to an IE report. One of India’s oldest railway engineering companies, Texmaco Rail and Engineering Limited managed by the KK Birla group has written to the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Limited (DFCCIL), the executing company of the DFC project, proposing to take over the unfinished work.

Chief Executive (Projects) of the company representing Kalindee Rail Nirman, MS Manohar was quoted in the report saying that the firm understands that the sudden termination of the contract of the Chinese company will push back the existing schedule by a considerable amount of time. An arm of Texmaco Rail and Engineering Limited, Kalindee Rail Nirman had qualified as the technically-approved and was the second-highest bidder in the year 2016 tender. It had lost the race to the Chinese company in rates quoted, the report said. Then, it entered into a partnership with Japan’s signalling major Kyosan. The proposal from the company said that it is willing to explore the possibility of taking over the (contract) package, in the project’s overall interest and in the national interest.

According to a top company executive, the offer to step in was in the national interest, however, the balance work financials would depend on how much of the signalling system of the Chinese company already installed is compatible with other systems. The company executive further said that Texmaco in partnership with Hitachi is already carrying out the biggest signalling work in Western DFC from Rewari to Vadodara.

According to a senior DFCCIL official, usually during monsoon, no work takes place. So DFCCIL wants to utilize this time to finish the formalities in order to select a new player so that work can start once the rainy season is over, the official added. The sources quoted in the report said that the balance work of the tender would be funded by the national transporter and to select the new player, there would be a re-bid process. After losing the Rs 470-crore contract, the Chinese company has taken DFCCIL to the Delhi High Court against the contract termination.

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