Bengaluru, India (Urban Transport News): Chinese Rolling Stock manufacturer CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Co Ltd, a subsidiary company of CRRC Corporation Ltd has recently entered into a deal to save its Rs 1,578 crore contract order awarded by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) to supply 216 Rolling Stock coaches for Bangalore Metro's Phase 2.
CRRC has signed a deal with the Kolkata-based firm Titagarh Wagon Ltd (TWL) to fulfill the 90% manufacturing criteria for the 34 train sets comprising 204 coaches to be done within India.
The contract agreement signed between BMRCL and CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Co Ltd for Rs 1,578 crore in December 2019 encountered major hurdles as the firm could not keep up the deadline and it was taken to court.“CRRC’s move to set up its own manufacturing centre at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh to supply coaches for BMRCL did not work out.
BMRCL was on the verge of terminating this high-value contract owing delay in the supply of Rolling Stock coaches according to the deadline. The firm sought more time to sort out the issue and has finally entered into a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Totagarh Wagons Ltd this month for the same, according to sources.
“We have agreed to the new arrangement being put in place. Of the 36 train sets, 34 train sets will be readied within India now. TWL will set up stainless steel car body manufacturing facilities under the guidance of CRRC. This will be a major boost to the Make In India policy of the Centre,” said a BMRCL, TIE reported. Just two train sets (12 coaches) will be readied in China and both would be the prototype ones that will be deployed for testing.
This new development i.e. CRRC's deal with Titagarh Wagons has helped BMRCL save over Rs 400 crore now, he said. This would have been the additional cost incurred if retendering had been called due to the steep rise in the cost of stainless steel and the general hike in the price of other components. The next lowest bidder BEML quoted Rs 1,996 crore which was Rs 400 crore higher than the CRRC's bid value.
Of the 36 train sets, 15 will be Communication Based Train Control (CVTC) sets and will be deployed on RV Road-Bommasandra Line (Reach-5).
“We are looking at commissioning the line by June next year and these 90 coaches are set to be delivered by then,” another source said. Of them, 21 coaches are based on Distance To Go (DTG) technology and will be used on Purple and Green lines and their extensions.
Incorporation of these coaches next year will help in bringing down the time gap between two trains during non-peak hours to 3.5 minutes, an official said.
“We gave several extensions and gave May 31 as the final deadline. The (Chinese) company said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Titagarh Wagons in Kolkata to manufacture the cars, but it is asking to revise prices to make the cars,” the official added.
While clarifying that the demand for the price increase is unacceptable, the BMRCL has also said it would not extend deadlines any further, especially since it needs the rolling stock to begin the Phase 2 operations.
“The company has said that the old rate would not be feasible and has sought renegotiation of the prices. We have pointed out that the question of renegotiation doesn’t arise. Our tender conditions are very clear. Unless they provide an unconditional Unless they provide an unconditional MoU, we can accept it. Otherwise, we will proceed as per the tender conditions,” said the official.