Guwahati News Desk: The Indian Railways is planning to operate 102 Vande Bharat trains across the country by March 2024.
According to the railway officials, 102 Vande Bharat trains are to be commissioned by early 2024.
Days after the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, regarding the operation of 75 Vande Bharat trains, the Ministry of Railways has floated tenders for manufacturing 58 rakes, each comprising 16 coaches. In addition, the tenders have already been floated for another 44 rakes.
In the fresh tenders, the Ministry of Railways insisted on the compliance of the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017, and said that there was “sufficient local capacity and competition in supply of the tendered item in required quantity and therefore public procurement of this items is restricted to Class-I Local Suppliers only”.
In addition, the new tender published on Saturday invited bids for design, development, manufacture and supply of equipment for three-phase propulsion and components for Train Sets as per Research Design & Standards Organisation specification.
As per the sources, of the 58 rakes of 16-car composition, 39 would be rolled out from ICF, Chennai, 14 from Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli and 14 from Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala.
Regarding the train express, earlier it was named as Train18. But later it was re-named as Vande Bharat Express. This particular train express was rolled out by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, and it was showcased as India’s first semi high-speed train with an operational efficiency of 160 kmph and a game-changer.
Though the Vande Bharat train was celebrated as one of the most successful products of the‘Make in India’ mission, it did run into a controversy over allegations of compromises on safety bringing production of more rakes to a grinding halt.
As per the allegations, one company was said to be favoured in the making of the first two rakes leading to the railway vigilance officials registering cases against several officials. Almost the entire team that made the first rake, including the then Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer Shubhranshu, was shifted out of ICF to insignificant posts, though the vigilance cases were subsequently closed by the Central Vigilance Commission.