WHILE the Maharashtra government has roped in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to implement the next phase of the Mumbai Metro rail with a view to bring in the latter’s expertise in execution, the decision will cost the state an additional Rs 334 crore.
The chief minister-led Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in its recent executive committee meeting
approved a payment of Rs 333.97 crore, roughly the cost of a 2-km length of elevated road in Mumbai, to the DMRC.
The payment will be the DMRC’s fee to act as the implementing agency for the 18.5-km Dahisar-DN Nagar elevated Metro Rail corridor. The line will be the first phase of the proposed Dahisar-Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro.
A senior MMRDA official who did not wish to be named said, “As implementing agency, DMRC will be in charge of tendering out the project, finalizing contracts, supervising the work, and even coordinating with various agencies such as the Indian Railways for certification of the corridor once it is completed.
The corporation will give timely reports to MMRDA regarding the work’s progress.”
The MMRDA has determined DMRC’s fee for implementing the project as six per cent of the project cost of Rs 5,566.22 crore, which comes to Rs 333.97 crore.
Over this, the development authority will also pay service tax to the DMRC, which has created a 200-km plus Metro network in Delhi and taken up turnkey contracts in cities including Jaipur and Kochi.
The contract has been awarded on a cost plus percentage basis, where the contractor is paid a specified percentage over and
above costs to cover overhead expenses.
A few members on the MMRDA’s executive committee, which Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya heads, felt the authority should have further negotiations with DMRC to reduce the fee, which some felt was on the higher side for a limited scope of work.
However, an MMRDA official said, “We have determined the fee on the basis of the costs incurred by DMRC in case of other Metro projects elsewhere in the country. DMRC will have a lot of involvement even beyond the construction work such as preparing specifications for procurement and testing of rolling stock, and the three-stage safety certification process before the line can be opened to the public.”
In the three-stage certification process, every component of a Metro project, be it rail fastening systems, signaling systems or operations, requires the approval of the Research Design & Standards Organization, for which the implementing agency has to move the paperwork.
Further, the agency also has to seek the approval of the Commissioner of Railway Safety, which gives a final certification to the Metro corridor, the official added.
The MMRDA has also roped in DMRC as an interim consultant for one other Metro rail route from Dahisar (East) to Andheri (East) for which the MMRDA will act as the implementing agency.
As consultancy fee, MMRDA will pay Rs 3.52 crore plus service tax to DMRC. The Devendra Fadnavis-government has set an ambitious deadline of 2019 for the completion of the two projects, as part of his target to build a 100-km plus Metro network in Mumbai in five years.