Railways terminates contract with Chinese firm after India-China border clash
Amid fresh clashes along the India-China border, the Indian Railways has decided to terminate a project contract awarded to a Chinese firm. The Railways has cited poor work progress for its decision to terminate the contract. The move comes days after Indian and Chinese forces clashed along the Line of Actual Control which led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers.
Rs. 471 crore contract was awarded in 2016
The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) has decided to terminate a Rs. 471 crore contract awarded to Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group Co. Ltd in 2016. The DFCCIL is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) run by the Indian Railways. The contract pertained to signaling and telecommunication work in the Kanpur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay section.
Why was the contract terminated?
The DFCCIL said that only 20% of the project had been completed despite four years of passage. It also cited the company's reluctance to furnish technical documents (as per the contract), the non-availability of engineers, passivity in material procurement, and no improvement in progress. Physical work could not progress as they have no tie-up with local agencies, the DFCCIL added.
Here's the document terminating the contract
In view of poor progress, it is decided by Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) to terminate the contract with Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group Co. Ltd. pic.twitter.com/CZerMVSwIf— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2020
Railways ready to fund project if World Bank withdraws: Report
The project was funded by the World Bank. If the World Bank does not find India's move to terminate the contract with the Chinese firm agreeable, the Indian Railways is ready to fund the project itself, sources told The Print.
What happened at the Indo-China border?
Tensions at the Indo-China border in Eastern Ladakh had heightened after the two forces faced off near the Pangong Tso lake in early-May. The face-off was the result of China's opposition to construction projects undertaken by India in the region. A month-long standoff followed at several key locations along the LAC and on Monday night, the forces clashed again in the Galwan Valley.
Calls to boycott Chinese products in India
As news of the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers during the Monday night clash surfaced, there were widespread calls to boycott Chinese products in India. Reportedly, the Department of Telecommunications has asked the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) not to use Chinese-made equipment. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also announced the boycott of 3,000 Chinese products, ranging from toys to kitchenware.
Union Minister calls to boycott Chinese food, restaurant
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale has also called to boycott Chinese food and the restaurants selling it. Athawale tweeted, "China is a country that betrays. India should boycott all products from China. Chinese food and the hotels selling it should be closed."