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New tendering process
- Earlier, stung by allegations of favouritism in the tendering process for manufacturing the first Train 18 set, the railways had scrapped all existing tenders for the third rake.
- The new tendering process gives vendors 3 months to apply for bids instead of the present 3 weeks, officials said.
- It makes it mandatory for the production units to follow RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organisation), which functions as a technical adviser and consultant to the railways, specifications while issuing a tender.
- An official said,”This will bring in more transparency and also give all parties a level playing field.”
- The first rake of Train 18 was manufactured in a record time of just 18 months at a cost of about Rs 97 crore.
- “We want to offer a level playing field to all suppliers to participate in the making of these trains which will not only have high quality but (will be produced with) much greater transparency,” an official said.
- The manufacturing process for the third Train 18 set, would go on now with the new tendering process in place, officials said.
40 ‘Train 18’ sets in 3 years
- In a recent meeting, the Railway Board with top officials and leading manufacturers of propulsion systems discussed the new timelines to invite wider participation, another official said.
- “The Board met train set manufacturers and informed them that train sets could only be procured from them if the demand exceeds the manufacturing capacity of railways’ production units.”
- The ICF has been sanctioned to manufacture 40 Vande Bharat train sets over the next 3 years – 10 in 2019-20 and 15 each in the next 2 years.
- A second Train 18 set is ready and is likely to be launched next month on the Delhi-Katra route.