Indian Railways, however, have cited non-compliance with the rules meant for neighbouring countries for the disqualification.
Chinese company out of Indian Railways’ Vande Bharat bid! The railways has disqualified a consortium consisting of a Chinese company and an Indian firm from the bidding for manufacturing of 44 Vande Bharat train sets at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore. Only three players had bid for the contract including the CRRC Pioneer Electric India, a joint venture between Beijing-based CRRC Yongji Electric and India’s Pioneer Fil-Med, with its plant in Haryana.
The move is in sync with the crackdown on Chinese entities in the wake of the Galwan clashes in June this year between Indian and Chinese troops and escalating tension between the neighbours.
Railways, however, have cited non-compliance with the rules meant for neighbouring countries for the disqualification.
The tepid response to the bid was attributed to changes in the tender conditions to make it an indigenous tender with stipulation of minimum local content of 75%.
The Vande Bharat project was taken over by the Railway Board which had decided to float the tender after ICF failed three times to bid out the train set manufacturing contract.
The last tender was floated on December 22, 2019 by the ICF and was opened on July 11 and finally discharged on August 21.
With the exit of the Chinese player, there are only two valid bids — of Medha Servo Drives and Bharat Heavy Electricals with Medha, tipped as favourite to win.
Medha, which had got the contract for the manufacturing for the first two such trains, has quoted the lowest bid. The tender is for “3 phase propulsion, control and other equipment along with bogies for trains sets”.
The Railways will procure 44 rakes of Vande Bharat trains from Integral Coach Factory. The procurement process promotes transparency, accountability, speed of delivery.