UPMRC Tender Update: M/s Khem Chand bags contract for Ultrasonic Flaw Detection (USFD) testing at various metro stations of Lucknow and Kanpur Metro

Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) Ltd. has recently issued a Letter of Acceptance (LoA) to M/s Khem Chand for conducting Ultrasonic Flaw Detection (USFD) testing on alumino thermite welds. This testing will cover the stretch from – CCS Airport to Munshipulia Metro Station at Lucknow and IIT Kanpur to Motijheel Metro Station at Kanpur, all part of the UPMRCL network.

  • Tender Reference Number: USFD-02
  • Name of Work: Ultrasonic Flaw Detection (USFD) testing of alumino thermite welds of line- CCS Airport to Munshipulia Metro Station at Lucknow and IIT Kanpur to Motijheel Metro Station at Kanpur of UPMRCL.
  • Accepted Contract Amount: INR 3,57,500/-
  • Contract Period: 06 Months


In September 2023, the UPMRC initiated the tender process for Tender Number: USFD-02, inviting qualified entities to bid for the Ultrasonic Flaw Detection Testing Project.

Scope of work:

  • Nothing extra shall be paid on account of scattered sites within the premises of UPMRC.
  • All safety arrangements for workers and supervisory site staff shall be made by the contractor at his own cost.
  • USFD testing of Rails should be done only with B-Scan Machines equipped with 9 channels SRT/DRT and two extra 37 degree probes. However for Weld testing Ascan machines can be permitted for the time being.

Technical Specification:

Dedicated Ultrasonic Flaw Detection Testing of AT Welds in the section CCS Airport to  Munshipulia at Lucknow and IIT Kanpur to Motijheel at Kanpur of UPMRC Ltd.” Testing and reporting is to be done as per the technical specification for ultrasonic testing as per Indian railway Standard Specification for Ultrasonic testing of Weld in case of any conflict, the special conditions of the contract (Part-2 and Part-3 these documents) shall prevail.

The Ultrasonic flaw detector should be able to test ultrasonically the sectional area of the Weld as per the sketch given in Annexure ‘III’ of Indian Railway Standard Specification for  Ultrasonic Testing of Rail/ Weld (copy enclosed). In case the contractor is not able to detect the complete area given in the sketch, he should indicate the area to be tested with his machine along with the percentage of the area covered in the head portion.

  • The minimum defect detection level reliability percentage vis-à-vis size should satisfy clause 6.3 of the Indian Railway Standard Specification for Ultrasonic Testing of Weld (copy enclosed). The capability of the test system shall be verified before testing begins to ensure compliance of the specification.
  • This may be done using known rail defect methods – where the test system runs over a test track containing known defects of various sizes and types or by defect audit verification method where numbers of rails defects detected by contractor during inspection run are audited by physical examination.

For this purpose suitable methods should be employed for example hand probing of rail length selected at random containing 5% of the detected defects and if required physical examination by breaking open the defects which were over reported / under reported / not reported in any of these two testing. In case it is considered necessary to carry out sizing of the flaws detected the same can be accomplished using procedure contained in Annexure-2.

The calibration should be done as per the technical specification for Ultrasonic Flaw Detection issued by RDSO. The rail for making the standard test piece will be supplied by the UPMRC. This standard test piece is to be returned back to the UPMRC after completion of the contract at a destination decided by Engineer-in-Charge.

  • The Ultrasonic Flaw Detection machine should be maintained properly by getting it inspected periodically and shall be in good working condition. The correctness of machine working shall be to the satisfaction of the Engineer-in-Charge.
  • The operators should have the competency certificate issued by RDSO or ASTM-II in Non Destructive Testing. The operator should have the competency certificate issued either by RDSO or should possess competency certificate of level-II from Indian Society for Nondestructive testing (ISNT/American Society/ASNT) for Non-destructive testing and shall have minimum two years of practical experience in ultrasonic examination.

The Engineer-in-Charge of the work here will be GM/Civil/O&M, Transport Nagar Depot. The required numbers of Welds and their due date of testing of each Welds will be scheduled by the UPMRC and the bidder shall progress the work accordingly. There should not be any overdue testing of welds.

  • Testing shall also cover testing of Alumino Thermite welds falling in the test length like normal Rail testing excluding flange testing and the mark defects accordingly.

Confirmation of suspects shall be done along with UPMRC officials with the same machine, in the presence of contractor’s personnel. 90% of suspect locations marked by the contractor shall generally get confirmed. Any disputes shall be mutually verified. The reporting shall be done by the defect data logger. In the case of any dispute which is made against the contractor and subsequently judged in the contractor’s favour, UPMRC shall be responsible for payment of any costs accumulated by the contractor that are related to the resolution of the dispute.

  • Once a suspect is identified by contractors operator UPMRC’s representative will identify actual weld defect location and this shall be provided to the Contractor for entry in the daily Suspect Report.
  • Marking of the flaw location on the rail/weld and categorization of flaw shall be as per clause 5 of Indian Railway Standard Specification for Ultrasonic Testing of Rail/ Weld along with latest advance correction slips.

Reporting Suspect Defects:

The inspection report from the previous day’s testing must be submitted to the Engineer-in-charge on the subsequent day, preferably within the first three days of testing. Soft copies of “A” Scans for the required suspects shall be provided at the time of completion of work. It’s crucial to note that sizing of the defects is not part of the tendered scope and is not included in the offer.

The Engineer-in-Charge will conduct a test check on the sketch, covering at least 5% of the length of work done. In this span 95% of detected flaws must be confirmed and, no new flaw should emerge during the test check. The decision of the Engineer-in-Charge shall be the final in this regard. Test check is to be carried out within a month as far as possible.

If verification testing confirms less than 95% of flaws detected by the contractor, a penalty of Rs. 2000 per flaw will be levied. In addition to this, if any flaw initially overlooked by the contractor is detected during testing, the entire track length must be retested by the contractor without getting any extra payment for the same.

The contractor shall impart basic training to Supervisors/Officers of the UPMRC to make  them conversant with Ultrasonic Flaw Detection technology. In the unfortunate event of a fracture occurring in an AT Weld after being deemed acceptable by the contractor until the next scheduled testing, a penalty of Rs. 10,000/- per fracture will be levied on the contractor.

In case any train accident occurs because of rail / weld fracture due to an internal detectable  flaw by Ultrasonic Flaw Detection, a penalty equivalent to 10% of the contract value will be deducted from the contractor’s bill. In addition, the firm will be disqualified for this type of work in future including for the work in hand. RDSO shall act as a third party to investigate whether the defect was detectable at the time of Ultrasonic Flaw Detection Testing or not. 

  • The decision of RDSO shall be final and binding on both the parties. In case of the second such incident within a year, UPMRC may intimate the RDSO and the contractor will be liable to refund all the money paid to him under this contract.
  • UPMRC will depute one competent personnel trained in the Ultrasonic Flaw Detection testing, not below the rank of JE/ P.Way, along with the contractor’s Ultrasonic Flaw Detection team who will take immediate action like imposing speed restrictions in case some IMR flaw is reported.

The daily test reports should be made with the test results in the format given by the UPMRC duly signed by the Contractor’s Engineer and submitted to the Engineer-in-Charge on next day of testing for necessary action. Daily test report should contain all the items as listed in clause 10.1 of the Indian Railway Standard Specification for Ultrasonic Testing of Rail/ Weld.

However, the flaws classified as ‘IMR’ should be reported on the same day. The contractor will have to use an Ultrasonic Flaw Detection machine fitted with DATA LOGGER. In this case, the contractor will give the results in a soft copy every day along with the report as mentioned in para 16 as above.

The contractor shall be permitted to make use of the existing facility if available in P.Way office/workshop for battery charging at free of cost. If such a facility is not available / not feasible, the contractor shall make his own arrangements. No additional payment shall be made on this account.

The bidder shall arrange their own accommodation for their stay during the period of contract. He will not be permitted to construct a temporary accommodation in the UPMRC premises for their Office and staff. No UPMRC accommodation will be provided for this purpose. The rates quoted by the tenderer shall include for all such charges.

The testing may be carried out at night/day in non revenue hours (block hours permitted by  competent authority). The contractor/their representative/staff should be well conversant with the area and with the working on track as regards safety of traffic, personnel safety and will have to give a certificate to this effect. No compensation will be paid on whatsoever account. Contractor should indefinitely sue the UPMRC for any damage to the property or accident to a person.

  • The list of the technicians, operators and other assistants proposed to be deployed for testing shall be submitted to the Engineer-in-Charge. All losses force-measures with Ultrasonic flaw detectors will be borne by the contractor.
    • Ultrasonic flaw detector and accessories shall be kept in safe custody of the contractor. UPMRC shall not be responsible for any loss or damage.
    • All costs during Testing will be borne by the contractor. No advance payment towards mobilisation shall be paid to the contractor.
    • Monthly on account bills shall be paid to the contractor on request for the work done during the period.

Software to view the B-Scan data to be obtained as part of contract by the UPMRC. In Case of vehicular USFD testing the software should be equipped with play, forward and rewind option and with defect to defect pause features.

Provision of geo tagging and date stamping in the B-scan should be kept in the contracts. Test Check of 10% at Senior Section Engineer level on the fortnightly basis and 5% at Assistant Manager level on monthly basis should be carried out within one month.

In case of detection of any undetected flaw during test check by the railways, the length of track tested in that particular week will be required to be retested by the contractor without any extra payment. Also, records of USFD operators will be kept who missed the flaw and its approval will be withdrawn by RDSO.

GM/Civil shall act as third party to investigate whether the defect was detectable at the time of USFD testing or not. The decision of GM/Civil shall be final and binding on both the parties and this decision is not arbitral.

For outsourcing of USFD testing, tenders for a longer period should be invited keeping in view local site and working conditions. Maximum delay permitted in testing of a section after it has become due for USFD testing is 15 days. For further delay, a penalty of Rs. 5000/- per km per day will be levied on the contractor.

For contracts for works tender related to “USFD Testing of Rails/Welds by SRT/DRT/Handheld Testers” whose technical capabilities have already been established by RDSO, Board (ME & FC) have decided to dispense with the Minimum technical Eligibility Criteria mentioned in Indian Railways standards general Conditions of Contract. However, Financial Eligibility Criteria as given in Standard General Condition of Contract will remain unchanged.

  • Following eligibility conditions should also be incorporated in the tender. The contractor must be provide documentary evidence of:
    • Owing [XX] of RDSO machines, or
    • Proof of entering into MOU with manufacture/ supplier of RDSO approved vendors for required no of machines as specified in (a) above. (No of machines will be decided by UPMRCL officials depending upon workload and duration of the contract).

For guidance of field officials, the classification of Rail/ Weld fractures into ‘Avoidable’ on  account of certain non performance or violation of laid down instructions of USFD/IRPWM/ATW/FBW manuals are attached as Annexure-I. Concise booklet on USFD Inspection for guidance is also attached as Annexure-II.

The collaboration between UPMRC and M/s Khem Chand represents a significant step towards ensuring the structural integrity of metro rail welds. The project’s adherence to rigorous standards and use of advanced testing methodologies underscore UPMRC’s commitment to maintaining the highest safety and quality standards.

Source: UPMRCL- Tender Update | Image Credit (representational): UPMRC

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