In a boost to Make-in-India initiative, three domestic majors are in the race to bag an over Rs 600 crore monorail project in Mumbai.
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the implementing agency for the project, has opened bids for inducting 10 new trains for the 20 kilometre monorail corridor between Chembur and Jacob Circle in Mumbai.
Equipped with a self-propelled system, one monorail train consists of four aluminium coaches.
Three Indian firms – BHEL, Titagarh Wagons along with their Italian subsidiary Titagarh firema, Medha Servo Drives and SMH of Malaysia, had submitted their bids to MMRDA on 3 March 2021.
Earlier, MMRDA had taken a risk by deciding not to allow these rakes to be imported from Chinese companies and floating a tender under the Make-in-India policy in spite of doubts expressed by some quarters about a possible increase in costs if the coaches were manufactured in India.
However, according to sources, the price obtained by MMRDA is reported to be around Rs 606 crore, the lowest bid from an Indian company under Make-in-India guidelines.
MMRDA maintained that due to the current economic situation that has arisen following the Covid-19 pandemic, and in line with the various policies announced by the government to encourage 'Make-in-India' schemes, it has decided to look for Indian technology partners for development and long term support.
As per the tender conditions, the first train will be delivered in 14 months which means that the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government will be able to showcase a revival of the delayed monorail project within 2022.
All the 10 trains are supposed to be delivered in 2023-24.
Earlier, the monorail project had run into trouble due to the failure of the Malaysian company Scomi Engineering to successfully supply the rolling stock resulting in termination of the contract on the Consortium of Larsen & Toubro and Scomi Engineering by MMRDA and encashment of their security deposit of Rs 200 crore.
MMRDA recently appointed S V R Srinivas, a 1991 batch IAS officer, as the Metropolitan Commissioner after the retirement of the previous commissioner, R A Rajeev who retired on 31 May 2021.
According to the MMRDA, monorail service will continue to run as per the schedule.
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