Indian Railways vows to speed up Contracts this year

NEW DELHI: This year is expected to bring in some early good news for wagon makers and firms providing railway infrastructure with the Railway Board set to put an end to inordinate delays in awarding of tenders as communicated in the closing days of last year.

Railway Board vide various letters had emphasised for timely settlement of tenders. In a complaint investigated by Railway Board, it has been observed that there is a long time gap between the opening of the tenders and their finalisation, which is not normal. In this context, it is once again reiterated that all tenders should be finalised within the normal validity period,” a letter written by the Railway Board to all its production units as well as other departments said recently, urging to fix definite timelines for execution of every contract.

The biggest beneficiary would perhaps be the wagon makers who are still awaiting awarding of a tender for 9,500 wagons expected in July last year.

The wagon makers were expecting the order to flow finally by the end of November, industry sources said.

“Suitable timelines within the validity period and monitoring mechanism thereof may be devised by Railways or it’s production units. Strict adherence to such timelines in all circumstances should be ensured,” the letter written by Railway Board deputy director Santosh Mitral said.

Despite plans to spend close to Rs 8.5 lakh crore to beef up Indian Railways, the wagon makers, a key component of the department’s freight revenue generation, have been bleeding profusely primarily due to lack of adequate orders caused primarily due to recurring delays in awarding these wagon contracts.

The only wagon order given in 2017 was for about 2,500 wagons.

The last major contract handed out in 2016 had suffered significant delays as wagon makers, desperate for any new orders trickling in, started quoting ridiculously low prices even below the cost of materials, triggering a crisis in the industry.

ON FAST TRACK

  • The biggest beneficiary would perhaps be the wagon makers who are still awaiting awarding of a tender for 9,500 wagons.
  • The only wagon order given in 2017 was for about 2,500 wagons
  • The last major contract handed out in 2016 had suffered significant delays as wagon makers, desperate for any new orders trickling in, started quoting ridiculously low prices even below the cost of materials, triggering a crisis in the industry
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