Texmaco Rail and Engineering Limited has written to the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Limited (DFCCIL) proposing to complete the unfinished work of the Chinese signalling major which was ousted of a Rs 470-crore railway contract recently.
“We understand that the sudden termination of the existing contract will push back the existing schedule by a considerable amount of time,” said MS Manohar, Chief Executive (Projects) of the company representing Kalindee Rail Nirman, an arm of Texmaco which had qualified as the technically-approved, second-highest bidder in the 2016 tender losing the race to Chinese Firm. It had then partnered with Japan’s signalling major Kyosan.
Speaking to The Indian Express, a top company executive said that the offer to step in was “in national interest” but the financials of the balance work would depend on how much of the Chinese signalling system already installed is compatible with other systems, like that of the Japanese.
“Texmaco is already carrying out the biggest signalling work in Western Dedicated Freight Corridor from Rewari to Vadodara in partnership with Hitachi,” he said.
The offer from Texmaco brings in a fresh angle to the whole consideration process, DFCCIL sources said.
“No work usually takes place during monsoon. So we want to use this time to complete the formalities to select a new player so that work can start right after the rainy season is over,” said a senior DFCCIL official.
Chinese firm Moves Delhi High Court
Meanwhile, the Chinese engineering firm which was terminated out of a Rs 470-crore signaling contract recently has dragged Railways to court against the move even as DFCCIL served it the formal termination letter last week on Friday (17th July 2020).
The World Bank, which is funding the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, has not given a no-objection certificate for the termination yet. Railways has decided to not wait for the World Bank and fund this portion of the project on its own.
“We have served the termination letter today. We would like this work to be done by some Indian player. We are drawing fresh specifications for a re-bid to that effect,” said Anurag Sachan, Managing Director of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL).
The Chinese company has approached the Delhi High Court to prevent the DFCCIL from encashing its bank guarantee. The matter was heard on Thursday (16th July 2020) last week.
“We will go by Indian standards and specifications for the work now,” Sachan said.
A subsidiary of Chinese major China Railway Signal and Communication Corporation (CRSC) bagged the contract for signaling works of over 400 km railway lines between New Bhaupur (Kanpur) and Mughalsarai (now Deen Dayal Upadhyay) section for Rs 470 crore.
DFCCIL terminated the contract due to non-performance. However, the development was viewed in the light of prevailing tensions between India and China as it came at a time like this.
Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group Co. Ltd, a solely-owned subsidiary of CRSC, bagged the contract in 2016. Since then, there has been just about 20 per cent progress in the work.