There was controversy over allegations that a private company was favoured in the manufacturing process of the Rs 97-crore rake
The Railway Ministry has directed the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh, to cancel all ongoing tender processes for the making of the flagship Vande Bharat Express rakes, according to a report by The Hindu.
The decision was made after a high-level meeting of Railways officials and leading manufacturers of propulsion systems, the report suggests. The purpose of the meeting was to get “the right technology with wide participation, transparently”, the report adds. Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
Vande Bharat Express, which was earlier called Train 18, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi, UP in February.
A controversy was sparked over allegations that a private company was favoured in the manufacturing process of the Rs 97-crore rake.
The ICF has been accused of several deviations from specifications laid down by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO).
However, the report cites top engineers involved in manufacturing the train in record time, as saying that materials that were readily available had been purchased without making any compromise on safety. Vande Bharat Express is currently operational.
A senior Railway official told the newspaper, “The Railways Board has directed ICF, Chennai and MCF, Rae Bareli, to cancel all tenders not only pertaining to Vande Bharat Express type of rakes but also suburban trains such as Electric Multiple Units (EMU), Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) and Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU). The objective is to offer a level-playing field for all suppliers to participate in the making of these trains with the highest level of quality.”
The Railways Board has informed the two production units that the tender process should be restarted based on further instructions.This would mean that the possibility of manufacturing 10 Vande Bharat Express-like rakes by March 2020 is remote, as the design would be “redrafted on the basis of RDSO specifications”.