Railways to float another global tender for rails

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New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) In a bid to address the issue of paucity of rails, the Railway Ministry will soon float another global tender to meet the requirement, senior Railway Ministry officials said on Tuesday.

The move comes a month after private steel maker Jindal Steel Pvt Ltd (JSPL) bagged 20 per cent of the Rs 2,500-crore global tender by the Indian Railways to supply long rails.

“Indian Railways had invited the global tender for procuring around 4.87 lakh metric tonnes of rails to meet the shortfall of supply from the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL). This is first time in three decades that rail procurement has been opened for the private sector,” the official said requesting anonymity.

He also said that while JSPL has been given 20 per cent, “we will re-tender for the rest of our requirement”.

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“Since SAIL has also increased its production with the functioning of its new second plant, we will need to analyse the quantum of the tender based on how much of our requirement is met by them,” the official said.

According to ministry officials, seven foreign steel companies and JSPL had submitted their bids against the global tender and the latter was the only Indian steel maker in the fray. The company was expected to get an assured order of 20 per cent under the “Make in India” clause.

The official also said that the bids made by the other companies did not meet the Railway Ministry’s requirements.

Till now, the Indian Railways was procuring rails from government-owned SAIL. But now it has decided on an extra global tender after anticipating that SAIL would not be able to supply the 7,17,000 tonnes required for 2017-18 and 2018-19, as estimated at that time.

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The national transporter is looking at 4,000 km of track renewal in each of the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20.

–IANS

aks/nir

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