Govt cancels two loco projects in Bihar, seeks new bid

New Delhi: Cancelling the previous tender finalized during Lalu Prasad’s tenure as railway minister for setting up two multi-crore rupee locmotive projects in Bihar, the government today decided to start a afresh bidding process for them with changed terms and conditions.

The proposal for Rs 1293.57 crore modern electric locomotive factory at Madhepura and Rs 2052.58 crore diesel locomotive factory at Marhowra was finalised in 2006-07 during the then railway minister Lalu Prasad.

However, the projects got delayed for various reasons and finally all issues were resolved and the cabinet approved the proposal for setting up the factories in joint venture with locomotive manufacturers to be selected through a fresh bidding process with limited equity contribution from railways.

New bidding documents will be finalised with the approval of the cabinet, said a senior railway ministry official.

Earlier six leading companies—two for Marhowra and four for Madhepura—were shortlisted in 2010 through pre-qualification bidding process.

“However, now there will be fresh bid for shortlisting the bidders for the projects,” said the official adding “since there were changes in various clauses fresh bidding documents will be prepared.”

The scope for maintenance contract was changed drastically from the earlier one as per the recommendations of railways.

Earlier, it was the manufacturer’s responsibility to maintain all locomotives but now it was restricted to 250 locomotives each for diesel and electric and rest will be maintained railways itself.

While the Marhowra factory is expected to manufacture 1000 diesel locomotives of 4500 and 6500 horse power, Madhepura unit is expected to produce 800 electric locos with 12,000 HP over 10 years.

As per the modified bidding condition, the electric locomotive manufacturer will maintain 250 locos at Madhepura for 13 years and the same number of diesel locomotives will be maintained at Marhowra by the manufacturer for nine years.

An informal Group of Ministers, chaired by the Finance Minister P Chidamabram and comprising Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, had met on April 22, 2013 and finalized railways recommendations following extensive inter-ministerial deliberations.