Railways has said that it had to cancel the tender to manufacture 44 Vande Bharat Express trains since some bidders had revealed the prices offered by them during the technical qualifications stage.
The Railways has said that a fresh tender for manufacturing of 44 semi high speed train sets of Vande Bharat will be floated within a week as per Revised Public Procurement order while giving preference to Make in India.
The tender for manufacturing 44 rakes of the semi-high-speed Vande Bharat Express trains was floated by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai in July.
The tender had 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 V.K. 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.
It is believed that the tender was cancelled after a Chinese joint-venture firm –CRRC (China Railways Construction Corporation Limited) Pioneer Electric (India) Private Limited -- emerged as the only foreign player among the six bidders for the supply of electrical equipment and other items for the trains. CRRC Limited is a Chinese government owned company.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Bharat Industries (Sangrur), Electrowaves Electronics (P) Ltd, and MEDHA Servo Drives Private Limited, Powernetics Equipment India Private Limited were the other five other companies that took part in the bidding.
Incidentally, the World Bank had in June 2019 had announced a nine-month debarment of CRCC and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, China Railway 23rd Bureau Group Co., Ltd. (CR23) and China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Limited (CRCC International), in connection with misconduct under the East-West Highway Corridor Improvement Project in Georgia.