In a first in months since tensions escalated between India-China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a Chinese firm has won a contract for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Rapid Rail Transit System Corridor.
The RRTS Delhi-Meerut project is a high-speed regional transit system that includes the construction of an 82 kilometre-stretch that will be covered in less than one hour by a high-speed rail. The project was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2020.
The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank that allows vendors from all member countries to participate in the bidding without any discrimination, NDTV reported.
Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Corporation won the ₹ 1,000-plus crore contract for the project managed by the Urban Development and Housing Ministry. The Chinese firm was the lowest bidder and fulfilled all the criteria for the project.
The 5.6-km underground stretch of the RRTS Corridor project will connect the national capital with Meerut, through Ghaziabad. Last year, right-wing group Swadeshi Jagran Manch had demanded that the Chinese firm should not be given the contract.
#BoycottChina was trending on Twitter on Monday after reports surfaced that the Chinese firm has won the contract for the rapid rail project.
Many questioned the centre's decision and called it an insult to the sacrifices of 20 soldiers who lost their lives in the Galwan valley clash.
Another user wrote, "While you keep on boycotting Chinese goods showing gratitude to the bravehearts who have been struggling hard against PLA, our government continues supporting China. From purchasing syringe to giving contracts to Chinese firms, nothing has changed!!!"
Since the stand-off along LAC escalated on June 15 last year, there has been a strong movement to boycott China and its products.
The Centre asked the people to promote the Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign, making it difficult for Chinese products and services to survive in the country. The fresh rules make it compulsory for all foreign firms registering fresh products for sale in India to mention the "country of origin" in the Government e-Marketplace.
Over 50 apps with Chinese links that included TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser, were also blocked by the government citing threat to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
The government also barred Chinese equipment for the 4G up-gradation of the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. A Chinese firm given a ₹ 471-crore railways contract was asked to stop work citing "poor progress".