Mumbai’s transport and infrastructure development authority has cancelled the bidding process for the design, manufacture, supply, testing and commissioning of 10 monorail rakes because both bids that it received were from Chinese manufacturers.
The size of the contract is roughly ₹500 crore, for sourcing 10 rakes for the Jacob Circle-Wadala-Chembur monorail line. The city authority plans to award the contract to an Indian manufacturer instead.
In a press release, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said that in the present bid, responses were received from two companies – China Rail Road Corporation and Build Your Dream. Both Chinese manufacturers were “continuously asking for revisions in terms & conditions and eligibility criteria, even after uploading of CSDs (common set of deviations)".
“In the current economic situation due to covid-19 and in line with the various policies announced by the government of India to encourage the Make in India schemes, it has been decided to look for an Indian Technology partner for development and long term support," RA Rajeev, Metropolitan Commissioner, said in the statement. “Considering this, it has been decided to cancel the present tender and start retendering process immediately; with revised eligibility criteria such as manufacturing facilities established in India for last 10 years on similar projects to enable participation of Indian companies.
“It has been also decided to initiate the dialogue with Indian manufactures like BHEL, BEML, etc.," Rajeev said. “MMRDA does not want again to create a Scomi-like situation when it has to depend upon foreign manufacturers even for spare parts of monorail coaches. In the situation that the two Chinese companies are dictating us to change tender conditions, MMRDA administration has decided to search for technology partners in India and develop it in India. As we do not require large quantities, it is possible for Indian companies to manufacture and supply in less time."
In March 2019, Malaysian rail system manufacturer Scomi Engineering failed to supply rakes and components such as signalling systems to the MMRDA after the latter commissioned the operations of the second phase of the 19.54 km monorail project and took over control from Scomi. The recent escalation of Sino-Indian border tension that resulted in 20 Indian army soldiers dying this week has placed Chinese contractors on Indian infrastructure projects under additional scrutiny.