SBI-led consortium back in game as tender terms of Rs 3,590-crore monorail project eased

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Nov 2 2013, 03:26am hrs
A banking consortium led by State Bank of India (SBI) may land the R2,000-crore credit pie for the straddle-beam monorail transit system in Thiruvananthapuram after the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) pressed the Kerala government to drop the supplier-credit funding option model.

Earlier, though the SBI-led bank consortium had offered credit for the R3,590-crore infrastructure project, the state government had shied away, putting the onus of clinching the funding option on the bidder who wins the global tender.

We have decided to relax the global tender terms for Thiruvananthapuram monorail transit. This would be set rolling at the meeting of the Kerala Monorail Corporation (KMRC) a special-purpose vehicle to set Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram monorail transit systems in place held in the first week of November, VK Ebrahim Kunju, Kerala works minister told FE.

E Sreedharan, chief advisor, DMRC, has offered to fastrack the commencement of the work on monorail to March 2014, to match the expedition of tenders. The project is expect to be complete by April 2018.

It was DMRC that urged the state to shift from the supplier-credit funding option. Because of the complex tendering system, the Japanese, Chinese, German and Malaysian firms who participated in the pre-bid meeting in New Delhi, called by DMRC, had kept out of the bidding ring. Only the Indian arm of the Canadian firm Bombardier turned up.

KMRCs new schedule is to invite tenders by mid-November and complete the procedures by the end of January. Several foreign infrastructure players had informed DMRC of their inability to participate in

the Thiruvananthapuram monorail project because of the caveat that only the companies that manufactured monorail coaches could bid for the project. This caveat will be removed, Kunju said.

The clause saying that the supplier companies should find the credit would also be dropped.