Saturday , 14 December 2019

Meeting the ITS challenge in Delhi

The final bidders

Against this scenario, only two companies came ahead for the final bid – Aster Technologies and Vyam Technologies. Aster, a system integrator known for making switches for Cisco, has a consortium with the UK company, Serco. Vyam, which is known more as an IT company, has entered into a JV with a Korean company, M/s SK C&C Co Ltd. When no other company came forward, it is alleged that the third company, M/s Tejas Network Limited was included. The technical bids were opened on 25/26.10.2010 at RITES’ Gurgaon office.

RITES, a consulting company of Government of India (GOI), was brought in this entire process as a consultant by the Ministry of Home Affairs. RITES does not have the technical expertise in transportation technology to handle the intricacies of ITS. Hence, RITES brought in a German Consulting company, DBI (Dr Brenner Ingenieurgesellscraft) as its partner but this name was not known to many. It remains unclear why CDAC, a government agency that has immense expertise in ITS, was not taken as the technical consultant.

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“ITS will not run in Delhi. What will it do on its own? Technology exists but the problem is how will it be passed on to the people? Take the road from Dhaula Kuan Road to Moti Baug. What will ITS do on this long stretch as there is no signal at all on this route? Where will they install ITS? They only have flyovers and underpasses. ITS can come in Delhi but it will not create any wonder.”

— A transport expert

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The bids

Tejas Technologies:

In Tejas Technologies’ bid, the name of its JV partner is not given. The bid just says: ‘Consortium of M/s Tejas Network Limited’. In clause 1.0, Annexure 1 of Chapter1, (Page 25) of the tender it was stated: “The bidder should have achieved a minimum average annual financial turnover of INR 500 crores (INR Five Hundred crores) in the last 3 financial years. Turnover in each of the last 3 financial year should not be less than INR 300 crores (INR Three Hundred crores).” The comment on this for Tejas stated: ‘Financial Turn over criteria is not complied.’ Again, Annexure 1, clause 6, Page 32 asks for ‘Declaration of the Bidder’. The comment on Tejas’s bid states: ‘Not submitted’. All these comments were made in December 2010.

For clause 12.0 a) Annexure 1 of Chapter1 on Page 25/26 meant for Work Experience and Similar Works, it was stated in the tender: “The bidder should have satisfactorily completed similar works, in his own name as a Sole Contractor or as a member of a joint venture. The work experience of the bidder shall be calculated at the value of either its own participation as a sole contractor or at the value of its propionates share in the aforesaid JV. The bidder should have completed similar works of total value of not less than INR 100 Crores prior to the date of submission of bid’. The comment for Tejas says: ‘No suppporting documents given.’

Vyam Technologies Ltd and M/s SK C&C Co Ltd, Korea:

A clause in the tender stated: “The offered traffic management system shall provide features and mechanisms which maximise the system availability and rules out loss of critical data, such as CCTV video data, system status information (such as failure of components, errors and offline components) and violation data of traffic enforcement components. The Tenderer shall describe in Details the system recovering features of his proposed system.” The comment on this JV was: ‘Details are submitted by Tenderer at page 125 to 129 of Technical Proposal part 1A. But no calculation of load for determining the capacity of back up power is given.’

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The Letters

In a letter dated January 29, 2009 (TrafficInfraTech has copies of these letters), RITES had written: “This project, being first of its kind in India, we have associated M/s DBI of Germany, since we lack experience of ITS for Urban areas. The scope of work was finally made by RITES & DBI and approved by Delhi Police before we submitted our proposal. Since Delhi Police did not agree for a joint proposal from RITES & DBI, DBI needed to be accommodated as a sub-consultant to RITES, on whose strength a case is being processed by the Delhi Police. The Delhi Police requested RITES for a draft agreement for finalization of the contract which was sent in the month of October 2008.”

Another letter from ‘S Chakravarty, General Manager, Tele’ was written on March 31, 2009 to the German consultant DBI (to Dr W Schulze, in particular, who was in-charge of the project for DBI and has now retired). Dr Brenner of the company is now in-charge of the project. The letter addressed to Dr Schulze said, among other things, “We are pleased to handover a copy of the Agreement between RITES & DBI duly signed at our end. This is subject to AMENDMENT- 1 as per clause 9 page 4 of the Agreement to be issued after signature by the authorized signatories of both parties as attached.”

A few amendments were made to the ‘sub contract agreement’ between RITES Ltd and M/s DBI in this letter for ‘Intelligent Traffic System Project in Delhi’. An amendment quoted in the letter (originally Page 7 clause 15) said, “DBI shall witness, review and verify essential final testing and performance checks as per the tender requirements and recommend commencement of trial runs subject to approval of RITES.” Another amendment (originally Page 9 Clause 29) said, “DBI shall carry out the services according to the Technical and Financial Proposal with due diligence and efficiency and in conformity with sound engineering, administrative and financial practices. They shall execute and complete the assignment to the satisfaction of RITES and Delhi Police.”

Another letter to DBI dated April 6, 2009 stated under the subject ‘Documents requested by you regarding Delhi ITS Project’ said, “As desired by you we are pleased to append hereto the Maps showing stretches as in Appendix 1 of the Agreement, and the control and traffic signal as shown in the ATC documents given to you earlier showing SCOOT and non SCOOT controllers prepared by RITES for further necessary action at your end. Regarding accident black spots and alternative routes as also maps/plans for flyover under construction please refer to the documents received by you from us in November 2008.”

These letters prove beyond doubt that DBI was the ‘expert’ consultant and RITES was only a facilitator. It is learnt that DBI had rejected all the bids as they did not conform to the requirement. Yet, keeping aside the expert opinion of a qualified agency, Aster and Vyam were finalised for the final stage, it is alleged. So in a way, the evaluation of the bids was done by RITES which should not be doing it as it does not have the ITS expertise in the first place. However, according to Satender Singh, in-charge of the projects for RITES, “RITES is only advising the Delhi Traffic Police.”

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Another clause stated: “Tenderer shall in his Tender Proposal define, describe and justify the quantity of physically required servers to provide sufficient computing and storage capacity and to ensure minimum access times.” The comment on Vyam’s tender was: ‘Details are not submitted in the Technical Proposal’. For another condition stating “actual storage capacity requirements shall be defined and justified by the Tenderer for his system solution”, it was noted for Vyam: ‘Details are not submitted in the Technical Proposal’.

Details were not submitted for “estimated time required for the test phases, etc” and also on the “test laboratories proposed to get involved”.

Both the bids have many such remarks on evaluation done in December 2010.

Will the tender succeed this time?

An expert says, “ITS will not run in Delhi. What will it do on its own? Technology exists but the problem is how will it be passed on to the people? Take the road from Dhaula Kuan Road to Moti Baug. What will ITS do on this long stretch as there is no signal at all on this route? Where will they install ITS? They only have flyovers and underpasses. ITS can come in Delhi but it will not create any wonder.”

The industry feels that the problem with Delhi’s traffic management system is the lack of a dedicated set-up. Says a senior transport planner, “Everywhere in the world, 99% of engineering and project management, work of PWD & Municipal corporations etc. is done by management people, and not by police. Traffic scene is constantly changing, and the changes are dynamic. Security, development in technology, city development – all this requires changes in traffic management. This domain’s continuous changes require upgraded technology on a regular basis. For that, a dedicated set-up is needed wherein people stay for a long term and do not get transferred every now and then, and where people understand the technology and improvise it. The traffic police cannot do justice to such vital requirement which a project of this magnitude requires. It does not understand the technology at all. The police must give its requirement, it should not control the proceedings. Its never got a priority here. How will they develop a concept?”

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A clause in the tender stated: “Tenderer shall in his Tender Proposal define, describe and justify the quantity of physically required servers to provide sufficient computing and storage capacity and to ensure minimum access times.” The comment on Vyam’s tender in December 2010 was: “Details are not submitted in the Technical Proposal”.

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A transport planner took this point further and said, “A traffic police head’s post is transferable. If he does not transfer the knowledge he has gained on the post to his successor, how can the department be expected to keep pace with the latest technology? Mumbai’s approach is right. There, the traffic police gives its requirement to the municipal corporation and leaves it to them and the government to procure the equipment for it.”

When asked about the grapevine that the tenders were scrapped, Garg said, “No, we are still in the consideration stage. The technical committee has made certain submissions. We made a reference to the controlling ministry and wanted a few issues to be clarified. I will not be able to discuss some of the departmental matters till they get finalised.”

The road ahead

So, despite traffic police making efforts and reputed companies expressing serious interest in bringing ITS to Delhi, there seem to be some cross wires. Nearly all the companies TrafficInfraTech spoke with expressed a desire to re-apply should Delhi Traffic Police re-issue a tender notification. The only thing they require is a slight relaxation in the conditions to make the approach more manageable and possible. Will that happen?

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