Railway coach order goes to 'favoured' company

In what appears to be another railways scam, officials allegedly inflated the requirement of coaches for 2013-14, then introduced criteria designed to favour a particular private company. Documents obtained suggest that Railway Board officials justified the requirement of 500 coaches to be procured from public sector unit BEML and other sources, under the coach production programme for the period. This was in addition to the demand already met by various railway undertakings. In June 2013 railways invited tenders from private players for additional coaches at an expected cost of Rs.250 crore. The order raised eyebrows in railways, as procurement was sought from private parties that never manufactured the stipulated coaches even as the manufacturing capacity of departmental units were still to be exhausted. A BSP MP has written to railway minister Sadananda Gowda, alleging a scam in the tender process, and said the quantity of the purchase order was inflated, and a West Bengal based company was being favoured.