Indian Railways Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation India Limited (DFCCIL) has terminated the contract with the Chinese firm worth Rs 471 crore for signalling on 417 km route of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor. DFCCIL has said that it will look for Indian companies to award the contract, officials informed. The remarks came a day after the DFCCIL terminated 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 for signalling on 417 km route of the EDFC.
The DFCCIL also plans to float the fresh tender for the remaining part of the project by the end of July or in August this year. The move by the DFCCIL promotes the ambitious project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India'.
Anurag Sachan, MD of the DFCCIL said, "This part of our project was funded by the World Bank and this project was given to a Chinese company by following the World Bank's procedure."
"Now, as we have terminated this contract and we have decided to complete it with our own railway party," he said. Sachan further said, "As the tender has been terminated now, we don't need to go to the World Bank and we have put the terms and conditions in such a way that we will be able to give this contract to some Indian players."
Project awarded to Chinse firm in 2016
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 contract was awarded to the Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute in June 2016.
According to the DFCCIL officials, even after four years, the progress in the project was only 20 per cent. DFCCIL sources said that the issues that led to the termination of the project were reluctance by the company to furnish technical documents, as per the contract agreement, such as logic design of electronic interlocking, non-availability of their engineers and authorised personnel at the site was a serious constraint.
The source also said that even physical work could not make any progress as they had no tie-up with local agencies. The Managing Director said, "We also have the expertise for the signalling system with the approval of the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO).
"We have already framed our terms and conditions for the contract. And there is a certain period, we have to give for joint verification for whatever work Chinese company has done, which is normally 14 days," Sachan said.
"By the end of July or in August, we will be able to call for the tender for the remaining work on the stretch," he said. The DFCCIL MD said that it has planned the works in such a way that they would be able to utilise the "rainy" season which is considered dull for the construction. "So before the next working season when it starts by the time our system will be in place, that is our target," he said.
Expected date for DFCC project completion
To a question by when the DFCC project will be complete, Sachan said, "We have been given the deadline of June 2022. And by the end of 2022 we are targeting completion of EDFC and WDFC works completely."
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, Gujarat and the northern hinterland.
While the 1,839 km EDFC 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 the freight trains from the existing 26 kmph to 70 kmph on the DFC.
(With inputs from IANS)