Contract for Chinese firm on hold?

7 months ago 41
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NEW DELHI: Day after a fierce clash between Indian and

Chinese forces

in eastern Ladakh and amid media reports that the tender for the design and construction of an underground stretch of

the Delhi-Meerut

RRTS has been bagged by a Chinese company, the Centre said on Wednesday that grant of contract was “yet to be finalised”. The

government

added that guidelines do not allow discrimination based on firms or countries.
Chinese multinational company

Shanghai

Tunnel Engineering Co Ltd (STEC) had emerged as the lowest bidder for the construction of the 5.6km stretch between New Ashok Nagar to

Sahibabad

of the Delhi-Meerut regional rapid transit system.
"On June 12, 2020, financial bids were opened. STEC emerged as the lowest bidder,” said the government in a statement. “The tender is under process and yet to be finalised,” it said.
Global bids for the project are being managed by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTC), a joint sector company that has participation of both Centre and state governments.
The cost of the entire Delhi-Meerut corridor is pegged at Rs 32,000 crore. For construction of the 5.6km underground stretch, technical bids were opened on March 16, 2020. Five firms including China's STEC, Larsen & Toubro, Afcons, Gulermark Heavy Industries and SKEC-TPL-RRTS were found to be eligible and financial bids were invited.
According to a source in NCRTC, “STEC’s bid was the lowest at Rs 1,126 crore while L&T bid Rs 1,170 crore. Gulermark bid Rs 1,326 crore, SKEC-TPL-RRTS (Rs 1,346 crore) and Afcons (Rs 1,400 crore).”
After media reports that the contract would be granted to STEC, the move had drawn flak from various quarters. Senior Congress leader

Randeep Singh Surjewala

questioned Centre’s Atmanirbhar Bharat call while RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch demanded that contract for the project be given to Indian companies.
The government, however, said that since the project’s finances are looked after by Asian Development Bank, their guidelines do not allow discrimination based on countries and firms.

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