LAHORE - The cash-strapped Pakistan Railways has floated a tender to purchase track cranes, which the department in fact does not require, as its approval has not been mentioned in PC I, the sources said. The tender for the purchase of two telescopic boom cranes, having capacity of lifting over 10 tons was floated, mentioning such requirements, which only suit to a single supplier, sources said. They added that the cranes are being purchased on the excuse of their necessity in 'double track project. According to the sources, the dual track project officials concerned, through a letter, informed the Director Procurement and GMIM&S that these two cranes are not required, but all this fell to deaf ears and tender was floated for the purchase of the cranes. The sources said that the authorities had given very limited time to the bidders with a view to discourage other companies. Moreover some bidders requested the extension for the bidding date, which was rejected flatly. Experts said that giving extension in the bidding date for any project is normal practice to generate better competition but it is always denied by the Railways in all international tenders. Sources claimed that it is very likely that GMIM&S and Chairman will succeed to finalize the tender of about 3 million Euros through special nominated committees. Sources said that tender for a Turnout Laying Machine is a typical case of merit violation. Such tender was opened in January this year. A high level technical committee evaluated the technical bid. But according to the sources, the GMIM&S did not accept this technical report and prepared his own technical report to favour a particular bidder. Sources said that the chairman reduced the strength of tender committee by dropping one very important member. Chairman is trying his best to purchase SKL14 fastening worth 23 million Euros from a German company (Vossloh) against a single tender. Experts said that there is a huge quantity of fastenings in European market but Pakistan Railways is resisting this move. It is also against PPRA rules. Moreover Vossloh is not the only supplier of this type of fastening, the sources added. Yet in another example of merit violation, in the tender of 150 diesel locomotives requirements have been mentioned in a way, which only suit to a single manufacturer- GE from USA. Since a deal has been done with GE, authorities are in full efforts to stop other manufacturers to bid for this project of $400 million, sources claimed. Chairman Pakistan Railways Samiul Haq Khilji, while talking to The Nation said that so far as the purchase of locomotives are concerned, PR is purchasing them from the USA instead of China. He hoped that the US manufactured locomotives are better than those of the other countries. He said that he was not aware of the approval of any other tender for the purchase of engines.