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Against the backdrop of a vigilance probe into the manufacture of the country’s first indigenously manufactured train set, Train 18, at Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, the Railway Board has decided to import 60 train sets (960 coaches) from global manufacturers at more than double the cost required to manufacture Train-18 by ICF, sources said.
A senior railway official said, at a conservative estimate, including 10-year maintenance cost, the total allocation would be between Rs 20,000 crore and Rs 35,000 crore, officials said. “Train 18 was manufactured at Rs 100 crore. Nobody was willing to bid for Train 20 at even Rs 200 crore. So, the minimum cost for the imported train sets will be Rs 250 crore”.
Board officials are of the view that production units like ICF should not be involved in the procurement of train sets as they aren’t mandated to do so. Officials also cited the irregularities in the Train 20 tender, which the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) objected to.
This article first appeared on www.metrorailnews.in
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