DFCCIL terminates Rs 471 cr tender with Chinese firm

Amid the India-China border standoff in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley where 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) including an officer, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL)has decided to terminate the tender worth Rs 471 crore with the Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group Company Limited (BNRRDISC) due to non performance, sources said on Thursday.

According to Railway Ministry sources related to the development, the project has been terminated by the DFCCIL which is looking after the work of the project. The source said that they have informed the Railway Board and the World Bank to take the final decision in the matter.

He said the project was awarded to the Chinese firm in 2016 for the signalling and telecommunication work in 417 km long Kanpur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC). The source disclosed that the contract was awarded to the Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute in June 2016.

The source further said that even after four years, the progress in the project was only 20 per cent.

A DFCC source said that the issues that led to the termination of the project are reluctance by the company to furnish technical documents, as per contract agreement, such as logic design of electronic interlocking.

The source further said that other issues like non-availability of their engineers, authorised personnel at site was a serious constraint. Even physical work could not progress as they have no tie up with local agencies.

Even for material procurement, which is an independent activity, has not been done by earnestly, the source said. The source further disclosed that there was no improvement in progress despite repeated meetings with them at every possible level.

The 3,373-km DFC, a flagship project of the Railways, aims to augment rail transport capacity to meet the growing requirement of movement of goods by segregating freight from passenger traffic.

The Western DFC runs from Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai to Tughlakabad and Dadri near Delhi, and aims to cater largely to the container transport requirements between the existing and emerging ports in Maharashtra and Gujarat and the northern hinterland.

While the 1,839 km Eastern DFC runs from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni near Kolkata — to be extended in future to serve the new deep-sea port proposed in the Kolkata area, and will largely handle coal and steel traffic.

The DFCCIL plans to run freight trains at a maximum speed of 100 kmph as against the current 75 kmph. It also plans to increase the average speed of freight trains from the existing 26 kmph to 70 kmph on the DFC.