Even as it expects to award tenders for civil and system jobs for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro by end-December, MMRC is awaiting clarity from Union urban development ministry on procurement and manufacturing of the rolling stock. Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), the implementing authority, has already invited pre-qualification bids from domestic and global players for design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the rolling stock for the proposed Rs 23,300-crore underground metro line, for which tunnelling is likely to begin from October.
“The process for rolling stock procurement is lengthy and costly. It has been the intent of the government to reduce this cost as much as possible and wants nearly 75 per cent of the rolling stock locally manufactured,” MMRC managing director Ashwini Bhide told PTI.
She said though this model of locally manufacturing the rolling stock was used for the Delhi and Chennai metros, of late funding agencies are not ready to put such clauses in the agreements.
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“Initially the funding agency (JICA) was rigid in making these changes in the agreement clauses. But the government is determined on its stand of encouraging local manufacturing to reduce cost. We are now awaiting clarity on this regard from the Union urban development ministry and we hope to get the same over the next 2-3 weeks,” she said.
She said the clarity is needed to set the principle for inviting prequalification tenders. To further reduce cost, the MMRC has decided to introduce 31 rakes of eight coaches instead of 35 rakes of six coaches.
“We had planned to introduce eight coaches cabs in the second phase. But since we have already designed the stations for eight coaches, we thought it will be viable if we introduce this model and not six coaches,” Bhide said.
She said according to the initial plan, it was estimated that the average daily ridership on the 33.5 km corridor to be 14 lakh.
“But now we are planning to run eight-coach trains once the corridor is commissioned in 2020 because the average daily load will increase to about 17-18 lakh,” Bhide said.