Chinese firm awarded part of Delhi-Meerut RRTS project
The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) has given a contract to a Chinese company, Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Company Limited (STEC), for the construction of a 5.6 km underground stretch—from New Ashok Nagar to Sahibabad—of the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project.
In June 2020, STEC emerged as the lowest bidder for the construction of the 5.6 km tunnel on one of the stretches of the Delhi-Meerut RRTS project. But it coincided with a bitter standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, after the Indian government said it noticed a Chinese army build-up along that presumed international border in the Himalayan territory.
The Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor, 82 km long, is being funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and procurement is governed by the guidelines of the Bank and the government.
ADB's procurement guidelines state that all member countries of the bank are eligible to participate in the bidding process without any discrimination.
Five companies submitted technical bids. All five qualified in the technical bid evaluation. The financial bids were opened after ADB provided a no-objection certificate on Technical Bid Evaluation. STEC qualified on all the parameters, and emerged as the L1 bidder.
The Union housing and urban affairs ministry had unveiled, in September 2020, the first look of the RRTS train and its design which is inspired by Delhi's iconic Lotus Temple. It can attain a top speed of 180 km per hour on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor.
The 17 km priority corridor of the Delhi-Meerut RRTS from Sahibabad to Duhai will be operational in 2023, while the entire corridor will be operational in 2025.
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Image Source: NCRTC