Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 3
The Centre’s strained financial position has compelled it to award a contract to a Chinese company for a vital section of the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS).
India has so far borrowed $1.5 billion (over Rs 10,000 crore) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, and the New Development Bank, Shanghai, for the Delhi-Meerut RRTS, the first of its kind in the country on which sleek, aerodynamic trains will attain top speeds of 180 kmph.
Both banks make it conditional that its members must get to participate in tenders. As China is a member of both NDB and ADB, Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Company Limited was permitted to compete and it won the tender for the construction of a 5.6-km underground stretch, from New Ashok Nagar to Sahibabad. The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), which awarded the tender to the lowest bid among five competitors, suggested the ADB’s procurement guidelines for lending do not permit discrimination with member countries in bidding.
The Shanghai-based NDB has five members with equal membership of five countries and China is a prominent member. As the NDB has also extended a $241-million loan for the Mumbai metro project, Chinese companies are expected to participate in the tendering process.
The latest tender was a closely fought affair. The Chinese company’s quote was a few crores less than that of the Turkish company Gulermak.