#BoycottChina trended on Twitter on Monday yet again after reports surfaced that a Chinese company has been given a contract for the construction of the Delhi-Meerut RRTS project. With anti-China sentiment high in the country after the Galwan valley clash, Indians have launched several campaigns calling for a boycott of Chinese products and businesses. On knowing that a Chinese firm has won the crucial rail project, netizens were visibly angry with the new development and asked what happened to ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Vocal For Local’.Also Read - China Hopes Joe Biden Will End Donald Trump's Cold War, Follow Sensible Approach to Restore Ties
According to a PTI report, The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) has awarded a contract to a Chinese company, Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Company Limited, for the construction of a 5.6-kilometre underground stretch, from New Ashok Nagar to Sahibabad, of the Delhi-Meerut RRTS project.
“Approvals have to be taken at various levels for bids that are funded by multilateral agencies. This bid was also awarded following the set procedure and guidelines. Now, all the civil work tenders of the 82-km-long Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor have been awarded and the construction is going on in full swing to commission the project in time,” an NCRTC spokesperson said.
Many questioned the govt’s move and termed it as insult to the sacrifices of 20 soldiers who lost their lives in the Galwan valley clash. One user wrote, ”Is the LAC stand-off over? Has China returned to the pre Apr 2020, positions? Have the Galwan Bravehearts been avenged? If not then how and why are we dealing with China and awarding contracts to them? Something stinks.”
Another 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!!!”
Here’s how others reacted:
A controversy had erupted in June last year after the STEC emerged as the lowest bidder for the construction of the 5.6-km tunnel on one of the stretches of the Delhi-Meerut RRTS project amid a standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. The 82-km-long Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor is being funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and procurement is governed by the guidelines of the bank and the government.
The Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor is the first RRTS corridor being implemented in the country. The time to commute from Delhi to Meerut will be reduced to less than an hour from the current three-four hours by road, officials said. The prototype is scheduled to roll off the production line in 2022 and will be put into public use after extensive trials.
The 17-km priority corridor of the Delhi-Meerut RRTS from Sahibabad to Duhai will be operational in 2023 and the entire corridor will be operational in 2025.
(With Agency inputs)