The government of India on Friday hits China again over economic interest on its soil on Friday. Indian Railways has cancelled a tender for manufacturing 44 semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express trains, in which a Chinese venture was a contender.
“Tender for manufacturing of 44 nos. of semi high-speed train sets (Vande Bharat) has been cancelled. Fresh tender will be floated within a week as per Revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order,” said the Railway Ministry in a tweet.
When the tender was opened last month, among the six contenders, a Chinese joint venture firm had emerged as the only foreign player for the supply of electrical equipment and other items for 44 train sets with 16 coaches each.
CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Private Ltd., the Chinese joint venture firm is a collaboration within the China based CRRC Yongji Electric Co Ltd and Gurugram based Pioneer Fil-med Private Ltd. The other contenders including the Delhi based Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), Bharat Industries from Sangrur, Navi Mumbai based Powernetics Equipment Pvt Limited, Hyderabad based Medha Group and Parwanoo based Electrowaves Electronic Pvt Ltd.
CRRC Yongji Electric Co Ltd is entirely owned by the Chinese government.
Although the national transporter did not specify the reason behind the cancellation of the tender, the decision comes in the view of a bitter face-off between China and India in eastern Ladakh.
Earlier, Indian Railways had cancelled an Rs 471crore project of signalling and telecommunication work for a stretch of 417km on the Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Kanpur section by a Chinese company. It had also withdrawn a tender for the thermal screening cameras after Indian vendors complained of the proposal document favoring the Chinese.
Officials said that going by the cost of manufacturing the first Train 18, which was launched last year at an expense of Rs 100 crore, of which Rs 35 crore was for the propulsion system alone, the present tender for 44 such kits would be worth over Rs 1,500 crore.