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After receiving clearance from the anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has written the railway board to take “no action” against the former officers of Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai who had been facing departmental vigilance probe for alleged irregularities in the procurement of three-phase propulsion equipment for EMU/MEMU/Train-18.
The railway board had carried out a departmental vigilance probe against S P Varve, N K Gupta, and three other senior officers Sudhanshu Mani, Subhranshu, and Amitabh Singhal, who had played a key role in rolling out of the prestigious Train-18 (now known as Vande Bharat train), which were flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The CVC on its letter dated 28th August 2020 addressed to the railway board said, "Further, the Commission has observed that the clause that has been found to be restrictive by the railway board doesn’t appear to be restrictive in view of the response received against the tenders", reported TOI.
Disagreeing with the disciplinary authority and the principal executive director (vigilance), the CVC advised “no action” against S P Varve and N K Gupta. CVC also has not found any merit in the railway ministry’s contention against three other officers that the eligibility criteria for bidding were restrictive. The communication with the railway board concerning these three officers may come this week. They added the CVC has called for a presentation from the railway board on this issue on 24th September 2020.
“There have been certain cases at ICF which have been investigated from a vigilance angle. The said case of Train-18 is yet to be sent to CVC. So far as the Railway Board is concerned, there is zero-tolerance for any irregularity of any kind. Each case is probed on merit and investigated as per the well laid down norms,” said a Rail Official, reported TOI.
It is pertinent to mention here that the manufacturing of Vande Bharat train sets was halted at the ICF soon after the departmental investigation started against the alleged irregularities.
Now the railway board has taken charge of the initiating procurement process of 44 new Vande Bharat train sets. The new Vande Bharat trains will be manufactured at three facilities viz. ICF (Chennai), RCF (Kapurthala), and MCF (Rae Bareli).
This article first appeared on www.urbantransportnews.com
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