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Six bidders for Train 18 global tender

File Photo

File Photo   | Photo Credit: R.V.Moorthy

Six bidders have submitted financial bids for a global tender by the Railways for the semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains, including CRRC Pioneer Electric, in which China’s CRRC is a joint partner.

As per the company’s website, CRRC Pioneer Electric is a joint venture between CRRC Yongji Electric Co. Ltd — a core subsidiary of state-owned China Railway Construction Corporation, and India’s Pioneer Fil-Med Pvt ltd, set up in 2015.

While financial details of the project are not available, it is estimated to be about ₹1,500 crore.

The news comes amid renewed focus on ‘Make in India’, particularly as anti-China sentiment strengthens in the country due to the ongoing tension at the border. This also follows a recent decision by the Railways to terminate a ₹471 crore signalling contract given to a Chinese firm citing “poor progress.”

Other five bidders for the tender for procuring electric traction kits or propulsion systems for 44 Vande Bharat Express trains, earlier known as Train 18, are Indian PSU Bharat Heavy Electricals, Hyderabad-based Medha Group, Himachal Pradesh-based Electrowaves Electronic Pvt Ltd, Powernetics Equipments Pvt Ltd and Bharat Industries.

The first rake was built indigenously for ₹100 crore, of which about ₹35 crore was spent on the propulsion system. Hence, the tender for 44 such systems is expected to be about ₹1500 crore. The tender was floated on December 22 last year by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, and was opened on Friday. It is the third such tender floated for these trains.

The Railways currently runs two Vande Bharat Express trains — New Delhi-Varanasi and New Delhi-Katra.

Recently, replying to a query whether the Railways is considering banning Chinese firms from participating in any of its projects, Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav had said that in most tenders only domestic players were allowed to participate. He added that for the past couple of years the Railways had also been working to reduce imports. “Our effort is to ensure that we use more and more made-in-India products and make the import component zero,” he had said.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 11:31:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/six-bidders-for-train-18-global-tender/article32047880.ece

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