Bombardier’s contract expires before the rakes are commissioned!

Indian Express reports the following:

In an embarrassment to the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the contract awarded to German company Bombardier to supply electrical equipment for the 72 12-car rakes under the World Bank-funded Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-2A expired last month, even as the two prototypes under testing are yet to be commissioned on suburban system.

The contract of supplying electrical equipment worth Rs 1,064 crore, awarded to Bombardier, expired in October 2014. Since the two rakes under testing in Mumbai section are yet to get a nod of the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) and the Railway Board, the assembly production of the remaining rakes is held up and likewise all other equipments, including the electrical components being supplied by Bombardier.

With no fault of the supplier in this situation, a red-faced MRVC  extended the contract to December 2015, confirmed an MRVC officer.The initial contract was awarded for 150 weeks from November 2011 and October 2014.

This is indeed an embarrassment for MRVC. The sad part is that even after all this, no one is interested in actually getting the rake into service. Everyone in the Indian Railways is still as clueless about the commissioning date as they were on day 1 of the trials. It is extremely sad to see this state of affairs. No one has any clear answers, nor is anyone inclined to work towards any sort of positive outcome.

CRS has now asked for some more things. As usual, he is more interested in nitpicking by raising more objections every time rather than doing some productive work. Why is he doing it now? Couldn’t that be done in 14 months? Everyone else seems to be playing roles of silent spectators.

If trials had gone as per schedule, trials would have been completed in January. Assuming that serial production started in January and rake out-turn started in April, there would have been 8 months of production. By conservative estimate of 3 rakes per month, there would have been 26 rakes in service by now. Going by the claimed rate of 4 rakes per month it would have been 34. But due to the super-efficient Indian Railways, we have a big ZERO. How frustrating

It is a rude reminder for the Indian Railways to wake up and review its policies & processes. This is a perfect example of a total systemic failure of the organization. Unfortunately IR is not learning any lessons. Acche din in Indian Railways is still a very very distant dream.

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