Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Indian Railways terminates signalling contract worth Rs 471 crore with Chinese firm

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— Consider reading the article Indian Railways terminates signalling contract worth Rs 471 crore with Chinese firm on OpIndia website —

Amidst the mounting tensions between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, the Indian Railways in a significant decision on Thursday decided to terminate the contracts given to Chinese companies in the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC). 

According to the reports, the Indian Railways has decided to cancel a signalling contract worth Rs 471 crore awarded to a Chinese company named Beijing National Railway Research & Design Institute of Signal & Communication in the year 2016.

Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL), a public sector undertaking corporation run by the Indian Railways, has begun the process to cancel the project contracts awarded to Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group, citing poor work progress.

The signalling contract, which was awarded on the 417-km long Kanpur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) section, is being funded by the World Bank. 

Chinese firm did not furnish technical documents, failed to provide engineers

The Indian Railways said the contracts are being cancelled due to “reluctance of the company to furnish technical documents, as per contract agreement, such as logic design of electronic interlocking”. The decision was taken because the Chinese firm had only completed 20 per cent of the work in four years.

The Indian Railway officials said the Chinese company has not been able to provide engineers/authorised personnel at the site which was a serious constraint.

“There is no improvement in progress despite repeated meetings with them at every possible level,” DFCCIL said in its order as it decided to terminate this contract. 

The cancellation of the contract given to Chinese firm comes at the backdrop of a face-off between India and China in the Ladakh region in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed by the aggressive Chinese side.

The Chinese PLA had reportedly held firearms to faces of Indian soldiers, brutally tortured some Indian soldiers to death. The sources to IANS added that the Indian soldiers did not retaliate with guns and followed government directions not to use firearms.

Following the deliberate aggression from China, India is mulling to respond to Beijing, which includes both economic and political measures.

Government advises telcos to stay away from Chinese equipments

Earlier, The Telecom Ministry had asked state-run telecom giants BSNL, MTNL and other subsidiary companies to not buy equipment from Chinese companies.

The Centre may also plan to ask private operators to reduce their dependence on equipment made by China. The decision by the Telecom ministry could play a major role in the 4G up-gradation purchases by BSNL and its subsidiaries. 

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