Army signs deal for purchase of 10 locomotives

Legality of $11.2 million deal not immediately ascertainable.


Our Correspondent July 20, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


The National Logistic Cell (NLC) – the logistics arm of the army – will purchase 10 reconditioned locomotives, costing $11.2 million, from Korean Rail (KORAIL) for freight operations.


An agreement to this affect was signed here on Friday by Director General of the NLC, Major General Junaid Rehmat, and KORAIL Vice President Paeng Jung Goang.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, the South Korean firm will deliver the locomotives to Karachi within ten months of the opening of the Letter of Credit. The government will make a 20% payment in advance, while the rest of the money will be paid on delivery.

At an additional cost of $1.4 million, the NLC will also hire the consultancy services of five Korean engineers for a period of two years, disclosed the finance ministry. It added that the NLC will also establish workshop facilities for maintenance of these locomotives. The Korean firm will provide a five-year performance warranty bond, equivalent to 5% of the contract price.

KORAIL will provide a type of locomotives already held on the inventory of Pakistan Railways (PR), except they are of a different gauge. KORAIL will overhaul these locomotives and change the gauge to suit PR’s track requirements. The NLC will also procure spare parts from the company for two years, the finance ministry said.

The finance ministry said NLC and KORAIL had been negotiating for the purchase of refurbished GMU-30 type locomotives since October 2010; suggesting the deal culminated after direct negotiations between the buyer and supplier. The NLC has also expressed an interest in procuring more locomotives next year, as KORAIL will be phasing out another 46 locomotives then, the finance ministry disclosed.

It was not immediately ascertainable whether the NLC had floated a tender to procure the locomotives – a requirement under the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules, which aim to ensure transparency in public deals. It was also not clear whether the five Korean engineers have been hired as consultants after due process. Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who witnessed the signing ceremony, was not available for comments.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) – the parliament’s accountability body – last week referred a case regarding procurement of 175 coaches by PR, without ensuring competitive practices, to the National Accountability Bureau for investigations. The total cost of these coaches was $92 million, and Pakistan Railways had to make modifications to its infrastructure to enable these coaches stop at its station platforms; the Railways secretary had briefed the PAC last week.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2012.

COMMENTS (35)

gt | 9 years ago | Reply

@Pramod Joshi:

Joshi, the average effective speed of Indian trains is less than 55 km/hr. Please get your facts right, and do not exaggerate or propagate untruths. Kindly refer to the official published facts, and accepted data on these issues. It is good to be proud of your country, as am I, but satyameva jayate, always, and without compromise. Please become thoroughly informed about the subject about which you wish to write.

There are huge problems with Indian railways, a black hole for taxpayer revenue, a cesspool of corruption and political patronage, and a bloated system which would not survive without being the beneficiary of various government subsidies. PR is suffering precisely because the Pakistani government has chosen to withdraw the movement of government and military freight away from the sole province of the railways, as witness the competition of the National Logistics Cell and the Highways Program that predated India's current road-building initiative by many decades.

Our locomotive building technology is very much out of date, such that General Electric is stepping in with plans to build 1000 diesel-electric units per year in India. They are the technology leaders in this area. I have been reading about these things with great interest because of my fascination with the history of steam and diesel locomotives. That is why I try to keep up with events in this field, although my technical grasp is close to zero for the electrical motors and such.

Pramod Joshi | 9 years ago | Reply

It is just to clear a misconception that the success of Indian Railways is due to Lalu Yadav.He happened to be the Rail Minister during the last exercise of restructuring of Indian Railways. Indian Railways is an efficient organisation with its own R&D. The Rakesh Mohan Committee recommended some steps. The task is still not over. Indian Railways is more than twenty times bigger than KORAIL. Our Locomotive plants produce closer to 1000 Engines every year. Most of the Indian Trains run at 110 KM per Hour. Fastest Trains are Shatabdi Express with a speed of 160 KMPH. India has started work on High Speed trains of 400+ KMPH. Probably with the help of Japanese, German and French technology. Pakistan or all developing countries can do it & must do it. For that we have to focus on development. I feel this region of globe has too much of emotionalism and ill information.

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