It Begins Here? Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Cancels Contract Given To Chinese Firm

by Arun Kumar Das - Jun 20, 2020 12:23 AM +05:30 IST
It Begins Here? Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Cancels Contract Given To Chinese Firm Trial run of freight train on the Western Dedicated Corridor (Facebook)
Snapshot
  • The contract was awarded after getting World Bank approval and the same is required for termination also.

    However, a determined DFCC is ready to execute the job with railways equity even if it did not get the "no objection certificate" from the World Bank.

The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation has taken a decision to terminate the Rs 471 crore signalling contract awarded to Beijing National Railway Research & Design Institute of Signal & Communication for slow progress in execution.

With the cancellation of the contract, DFCC, a PSU of Indian Railways, becomes the first to slam the door on a Chinese company in the infrastructure sector amid the growing chorus of boycotting business with China after bloody face-off on the Ladakh front.

The Chinese company had won the contract to install signalling and telecommunication systems on the 417-km long Kanpur-Mughalsarai section in the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.

However, after four years the company could complete only 20 per cent of the job despite several reminders to speed up.

Till now, DFCC has spent about Rs 90 crore on the section and now a fresh tender would be floated for the job.

While the 1468 km long Western DFC is funded by Japan, the 1760-km long Eastern DFC, from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal, is funded by the World Bank.

"We have written to the World Bank regarding the slow progress and sought termination of the contract", said DFCC Managing Director AK Sachan.

The contract was awarded after getting World Bank approval and the same is required for termination also.

However, a determined DFCC is ready to execute the job with railways equity even if it did not get the "no objection certificate" from the World Bank.

Though the Chinese company won the contract, there were problems from the very beginning as the company was reluctant to furnish technical documents such as the logic design of electronic interlocking, a vital safety related information.

It has been four years now but they have not submitted the design plan involving signalling structure, auto location hut, cable line yet.

Besides, the company is yet to engage local agencies at the ground level and most of the time company’s engineers and authorised personnel were not available on the site.

There was also delay in material procurement.

"There are valid reasons for terminating the contract and now we would go ahead with fresh tender to speed up the project", Sachan said.

Eastern DFC will mostly have double tracks and will be electrified but the 400 km section from Ludhiana to Khurja in Uttar Pradesh will be single line electrified due to lack of space.

The DFC project is crucial for the country as it aims to divert chunks of goods traffic from the road to rail with faster movement on dedicated routes.

Though there was resentment against the growing involvement of Chinese companies in Indian economy, the face-off in the Ladakh region which claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers has now become the flash point for decisive action on the economic front.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Comments ↓
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.
Advertisement

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.