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Sea cable tender bid ‘rigged’: Panel to resolve challenge destiny

The Empowered Technology Group (ETG), led by the Principal Scientific Advisor to the federal government, is prone to meet quickly to resolve on the destiny of Kochi-Lakshsadweep Islands (KLI) submarine optical fibre connectivity after home corporations alleged that the bid circumstances “rigged” to fulfill the know-how supported by just one firm, sources mentioned.

The ETG, which additionally has the Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, the Chairman of Space Commission, the Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation, the secretaries of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Department of Communications and the Department of Science and Technology, was scheduled to fulfill final week, sources mentioned.

The assembly, nevertheless, needed to be postponed after the Niti Aayog and the workplace of the National Security Advisor sought extra clarification the current capabilities of home corporations, together with the small print of the KLI submarine optical fibre connectivity tender.

Domestic corporations, beneath the umbrella of Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (Tepc) and Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India (Tema) had made representations to the Neeraj Sinha, the senior advisor for digital communications at Niti Aayog, who has sought to know from the 2 business our bodies the capacities of Indian companies.

In a reply to the emailed representations of the 2 business our bodies, Sinha had sought to know the utmost size of submarine optical fibre cable that that thus far been produced in India by indigenous corporations, the entire manufacturing capability of the cables, and the time in addition to price required to fee a brand new plant close to the Indian coast line. The Indian Express has reviewed a duplicate of the emailed dialog. In its reply to Sinha, Tema has claimed since each the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), which is the executing company for the KLI challenge, had been insisting that bidders should have a minimum of 10-12 years of expertise in manufacturing and laying submarine optical fibre cable, it was unimaginable for the home corporations to even consider inserting a bid.

The KLI submarine cable connectivity challenge was permitted by the Cabinet in December 2020 with an outlay of Rs 1,072 crore, and is predicted to be accomplished by May 2023.

Domestic corporations, which producer optical fibre cable and different associated gear, nevertheless, have alleged that the bid circumstances had been so modified that no worldwide or home participant, besides NEC India, a Japanese firm’s Indian subsidiary, may bid within the challenge.

In an August 31 letter despatched to the S Gopalakrishnan, the extra secretary at Prime Minister’s Office, the Tepc has claimed that regardless of objections from the ETG concerning the capital, operation and upkeep prices of the challenge, the DoT’s High Level Committee ignored the solutions.

According to the business physique Tema, the BSNL bid features a situation that the know-how should be repeater primarily based know-how, which is obtainable solely with three corporations throughout the globe.

“The said 3 companies normally work in tandem or in other words, they work in their own regions i.e NEC works in Asia whereas other two companies don’t bid in Asia. Therefore by adding a single repeatered segment, BSNL has ensured that no competitor, either from Indian company or from any other country, could bid in the tender,” Tepc alleged in its August 31 letter to the PMO. Report Wire

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