Indian Railways to terminate mega-contract with Chinese firm amid border strife

Indian Railways to terminate mega project contract with Chinese firm amid border strife
Indian Railways to terminate mega project contract with Chinese firm amid border strife

In a dramatic development of the India-China conflict, rising as a result of the recent faceoff in Ladakh, Indian Railways is reportedly showing doors to a Chinese firm, engaged for a megaproject.

According to an official document obtained by Indian Express, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is terminating a nearly 500-crore contract with M/s Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group Co. Limited.

The contract was for designing, supplying, testing signaling, and telecommunication in hundreds of kilometer-long dedicated freight corridors in the Kanpur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) corridor, according to the report.

“The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) has decided to terminate Chinese signalling firm contract,” Indian Railways spokesperson told Indian Express.

According to the IE report, in 2016, China Railway Signal and Communication Corporation (CRSC) won the contract of installing a signal system on over 400kms tracks of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor. They were the only Chinese player in the mega Indian Railways project.

The official documents obtained by IE outlines, so far, only 20% of progress was made by the Chinese firm, despite the project being awarded 4 years back.

While citing the reason for the termination, DICCIL stated:

  • Lack of improvement in work progress despite meetings at all possible levels.
  • The reluctance in finishing technical documents like logic design in electronic interlocking.
  • Unable to finish material progress earnestly
  • Authorized engineers and personal of the company absent on-site
  • Stagnant physical work progress owing non-tie-up with local agencies

The 2016 project was funded by the World Bank and “in views of the poor progress it is decided by DICCIL that the contract will be terminated.” the document reads. Reports also suggest BSNL is reworking an old tender to keep Chinese telecommunication-provider out.

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