Every time I see an article on KMRL, it pains me how govt. organisations like Kochi Metro( KMRL) and Cochin Shipyard (CSL) get away with all kind of policy violation that is set out to support startups and MSMEs. The latest is this article in Hindu https://bit.ly/2VaqnH0
Right from the beginning this project had issues. Some of the stupidity that KMRL set out to do were corrected midway thanks to many people taking it up. Those who attended the initial pre-bid meeting would remember the claim made by their representative that steel boats are the way forward, take it or leave it. Fortunately that was amended and now we have aluminium. However the turnover criteria was gamed to ensure that only CSL bids for the project, the same shipyard that has zero experience in building electric boats. The bigger question is, should CSL be building boats that are meant for MSME yards? KMRL insisting on financial criteria when startup has technology is another violation of StartupIndia.
Along with this tender, a technology selection was done, since shipyards like CSL can offer only balance sheet and not technology. We were the only Indian firm that was qualified along with other foreign suppliers. The tender was set rolling.
As expected only CSL bid for this project. In its eagerness, like all govt. firms, to get the tender off their back and shift to the next govt. body, KMRL awarded the contract to CSL without a re-tender. It must be as per norms since both are supposed to be govt. controlled.
Fast forward a few months. When it comes to CSL turn to tender out the propulsion system (remember they have no expertise and got the project on balance sheet criteria), they did a clever selection of technology. The original tender was open to various choices of Common AC/Common DC (read more here https://bit.ly/37ZA3t1) while avoiding Independent DC (no idea why KMRL did that). CSL made a choice of Common DC. Interestingly it is the flavour of some of the large electric propulsion technology supplier. Conspiracy theory might have made me reveal, German too, but I resist! So the only Indian propulsion technology company that is qualified in original KMRL list is kept out by this selection.
There are other games CSL plays. It somehow likes traders of foreign and not manufacturers who add value addition in India. Their payment terms and payment currency favour such traders compared to Indian manufacturer, a clear violation of MakeinIndia policy and MSME policy. Another violation of StartupIndia policy is seeking for financial criteria when startup has technology. For more details read this https://bit.ly/2YskBCK
Is Central govt. aware of the games played by their organisations?