State-owned Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. of India Ltd (DFCCIL) has decided to terminate a contract worth ₹471 crore given to Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group, citing poor progress.
The development comes amid rising tensions between India and China at the Line of Actual Control, where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a ‘violent face-off’ with Chinese troops in the Galwan valley.
The contract was awarded to the Chinese company in 2016 to complete signalling and telecom work in 417-km long Kanpur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay section in Uttar Pradesh. DFCCIL, which comes under the administrative control of the railway ministry, has approached the funding agency of the project, World Bank, to begin the process of terminating the contractor.
The decision was taken because of the non-performance of the Chinese firm and there was only 20% progress in the project in the last four years, said the official spokesperson of the railway ministry.
Non-availability of engineers at the site, the company’s reluctance to provide technical documents as per contract, lack of progress despite repeated meetings with the officials, were some of the reasons cited for terminating the contract.
Meanwhile, the department of telecommunications has asked BSNL not to use Chinese equipment to upgrade its 4G facilities, according to reports.