‘Discovery of bid amounts at technical stage led to cancellation of tender for Vande Bharat trains’
New Delhi, Aug. 23(PTI): The discovery of the prices offered by some bidders at the technical qualifications stage was the reason behind the cancellation of a tender to manufacture 44 Vande Bharat Express trains, a senior railway official said on Sunday.
The tender invited two packet bids — First Packet Technical Bids and Second Packet Financial Bids. First the technical bids are opened and evaluated, after which the financial bids of only those bidders are opened who qualify in the technical bids, the railways said.
“For transparency in evaluation, while evaluating the technical bids, the financial bids are not available to the Tender Evaluation Committee. While evaluating the technical bids of the train set tenders, the committee noticed that some details of the financial offers have been revealed in the first packet, that is technical bids.
“To maintain complete transparency, the committee recommended to cancel the tender and invite fresh tenders. The Tender Accepting Authority, the ICF general manager, accepted the recommendation. Fresh tenders will be invited within a week,” Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said.
He said three companies had made the error of mentioning the price of the products they were to supply and explanations have been sought from them.
The Railway Ministry, while cancelling the tender, had said it was being done to make way for a fresh tender, adhering to the new public procurement policy of the government vis-a-vis Make in India.
Last month, when the tender was opened, a Chinese joint-venture firm — CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Private Limited — had emerged as the only foreign player among the six contenders for the supply of electrical equipment and other items for the 44 train sets of 16 coaches each.
The JV was formed in 2015 between the China-based CRRC Yongji Electric Company Limited and the Gurugram-based Pioneer Fil-med Private Limited.
The railways had said earlier that a fresh tender will be floated soon in accordance with the Revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order and as a part of the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” initiative, increasing indigenous content from the present level of 50 per cent to a higher level is being examined.
The fresh tender will have a provision to manufacture Vande Bharat train sets at all the three production units of the Indian Railways — ICF, MCF andF — Yadav said, adding that the timeline for manufacturing these train sets will be compressed.
On July 10, the railways’ Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai floated the tender for manufacturing 44 rakes or train sets of semi-high-speed Vande Bharat Express trains.
The other five bidders were the state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, the Bharat Industries in Sangrur, the Electrowaves Electronics (P) Limited, the MEDHA Servo Drives Private Limited and the Powernetics Equipment India Private Limited, according to the Railway Ministry.