Chinese locomotives chug into trouble in Pakistan

June 6th, 2012 - 1:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, June 6 (IANS) The Chinese are not happy over conditionalities in a tender floated by the Pakistan Railways for procuring 150 new locomotives as this excludes them from the competition, a leading Pakistani daily said Wednesday.

An editorial in Dawn said Chinese suppliers met railway officials Monday and “politely conveyed their resentment over the specifications of locomotives that exclude them from the competition and facilitate their rival, an American company”.

“They have also warned that their expulsion (albeit on technical grounds) from the bid would raise the cost of procurement of locomotives,” it said.

The daily said that the point made by the Chinese manufacturers must be looked into and the “railway authorities should come clean on it”.

“Just blaming the Chinese manufacturers for the poor quality of engines provided to the railway for keeping them out of the competition will not do, particularly when most of the damage to them has been done because of lack of funds for their proper maintenance and upkeep,” it added.

The daily noted that the railway is dragging its feet on an earlier agreement for the purchase of 75 locomotives from China.

“With the department facing an acute shortage of locomotives to keep its trains running, it needs to move on the fast track to acquire the new engines. The railways’ treatment of the Chinese suppliers who appear to be willing to do business that will help put our trains back on the rails is perplexing,” it said.

The editorial reminded the railway authorities that it was Chinese locomotive manufacturers who came to their rescue by providing 69 locomotives on credit when “no one was ready to deal with us in the wake of the nuclear tests”.

“The same locomotives are still pulling our trains.”

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