Metro Rail Projects Built With Central Assistance Will Now Require Local Manufacturers To Be Included

Metro Rail Projects Built With Central Assistance Will Now Require Local Manufacturers To Be IncludedA Namma Metro train built by BEML in Bengaluru. Photo credit: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/GettyImages

Metro Rail projects in India receiving financial assistance from the Centre can no longer bar Indian manufacturers like Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), even if multi-lateral funding is obtained, reports The Times of India. Looking to push its Make In India scheme, the Centre has asked Metro Rail companies to place a ‘developmental order’ of 10 per cent to local manufacturers of propulsion systems.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has issued fresh norms for the eligibility criteria for rolling stock. There are three incumbent players in propulsion systems manufacturing in India – Alstom, Bombardier and Mitsubishi – of which Mitsubishi has the highest market share.

Under the new norms, we have allowed the Metro Rail authorities to allow the rolling stock supplier to place up to 10 per cent of the orders to Indian propulsion equipment manufacturer. Developmental orders are placed to promote indigenous technology where the rules applicable can be relaxed and certain concessions may by granted. In such cases, the procurement entity makes an advance commitment for placement of orders to meet future demand.
An official of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

State-run BEML that comes under the Ministry of Defence could not participate in two metro rail projects due to restrictions imposed by multi-lateral agencies. However, with the new eligibility criteria in place, this would not happen in future.

The Centre has also set two standard widths for coaches running on the 1,435 mm standard gauge tracks at 2.9 m and 3.2 m. It has also set the operating speed at 80 km/hr with a design speed of 90 km/hr.

The Centre has also said that future metro projects would have to either have trains in three, six or nine-car combinations instead of the existing four, six and eight-car configurations being followed.