October 7, 2021 3:28:39 am
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is all set to procure 10 more rakes for its monorail project, which is expected to improve the frequency of trains as well as the ridership, which is the lowest in Mumbai’s public transport system. The first rake of the train is likely to come within a year. All the rakes will be made in India.
The MMRDA has awarded the tender to Medha Servo Drives Private Limited for procurement of new 10 monorail rakes as per the decision taken in a meeting last month, said an official. The estimated tender cost is Rs 590 crores. The new trains are being bought by Medha in a bid to run the monorail efficiently and improve its connectivity.
“We are trying to revive the monorail and improvement of its route’s connectivity with metro rail and run it efficiently. Once all the new monorail rakes, which will be completely indigenous, become operational, it will reduce the headway and the ridership is expected to increase,” SVR Srinivas, MMRDA chief told Indian Express.
The19.54-km long Monorail runs between Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk-Wadala-Chembur Monorail and commenced full-fledged operations in March 2019. Though the promised frequency of trains was every 4-5 minutes, it was eventually 18 minutes officially, and owing to functional issues the wait time could go up to as much as 30 minutes. The reason behind less frequency is non-availability or limited number of rakes. As per the official record, there are only seven trains right now on the 20-km stretch. The minimum ridership it had after the lockdown was just over 5,000 a day.
An official said that with a total of 17 trains, it is possible to run a train every six minutes.
Accordingly, in July 2018, it was decided to buy 10 new rakes with four coaches each. In March 2019, the first tender was floated for the same and during which it was observed that the Chinese companies were demanding several changes in terms and conditions and at the same time due to Covid-induced lockdown, the Central government had instructed to promote the Make in India and Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The old tenders were cancelled and new ones floated to increase the participation of Indian companies in August 2020.
Three Indian companies — BHEL, Titagarh and Medha – had shown interest in the bids and out of which the MMRDA shortlisted Medha as lowest bidder.
The MMRDA is also seeking for an ‘appointment of consultant for the procurement of rolling stock for Mumbai Monorail Project including Review of Design and Technical Support during the Lifecycle of Procurement’ and has invited tender for the same recently.
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