The Ministry of Railways in India under Suresh Prabhu had launched the work module of the Indian railways E-procurement System (IREPS) and implementation of e-tendering in Work Contracts. It has been done to seek transparency in the tendering business of Indian Railways. This application has been developed by the Indian Railways and CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems).
As a part of his inaugural speech, Suresh Prabhu emphasized the importance of developing and shaping the IT wing of the Indian Railways. He also congratulated all the working officials who put their heads into the project. He said the engineers were not alone to be credited. He expressed pride that Indian railways are the sole organization that has such a transparent system for tendering. this method is not only efficient and time-saving but also serves a pivotal role in maintaining transparency at a more broader level. He also said that currently around 60 percent of the total railway tickets are sold online via IRCTC. He reiterated that this digital connectivity will bring people nearer to the Indian railways. The model has been formed by Civil Engineering Directorate through CRIS.
Powers to finalize the tender process have been allotted to all the General Managers and they are responsible for their judgment and action. The transaction regarding finances should be done directly with directories, standardization of tender and proper documentation. Presently there are 25000 tenders under Railways for maintenance and development of new assets for the enormous railway network stretching over 66000 km, which amount to over Rs. 35000 Crores. The portal of this platform will ensure proper administration and control over the works and contract of railways. It provides facilities such as tender creations and publication. It can be used to create automatically comparative charts and notes. It also allows other tenderers to view tenders of other tenderers before deciding their price and making a bid online. This online platform will save the workers as well as the bidders from any hassle, increasing the productivity and efficiency of working by saving money and time. This will also encourage the bidders to make a fair bit and go as high as possible, increasing the level of competition and also reducing the complaint related to the tendering by letting the entire process be transparent. New concepts have come up including the online creation and maintenance of Schedule of Rates (SOR) and non-schedule Directories, interactive documents and much more.
What are the benefits to bidders?
- Bidders can easily pay the payments and make bids offer online.
- There is easy access to all the information about tenders and corrigendum released by Railways. This shall facilitate bidders to keep an eye on any changes or modification in the tenders.
- They can also have the access to comparative tender statements.
- Lastly, the entire online business has made it more comfortable and convenient for the bidders who can now work from home and do not need to rush for official works. They can choose their time as per their comfort.