MMRC Workshop on Operations & Maintenance (O&M) held; MMRC to explore other Options for Metro-III

Mumbai: The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) on Wednesday conducted a one-day workshop to   examine various options available for operations and maintenance (O&M) of the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 corridor which is expected to be rolled out in 2020. The workshop explored suitable and appropriate O&M strategies. In this regard, various administrative, statutory, technical, legal and financial challenges were deliberated upon.

“While the traffic scenario on the roads in a city like Mumbai necessitates mass transit modes, we have to look at alternatives available to operate and maintain them. We also have to look at what type of mode is safe, financially viable and efficient. Worldwide metros are operated and maintained privately and by the government. However, we have to analyze what suits our conditions and take the crucial decision. I think today’s workshop will help us take such an informed decision”, said UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner of MMRDA.

The consultants, JIC-Padeco-Tokyo Development, examined merits and demerits of metro operations controlled in-house vis-a-vis outsourced. “There are various options which are adopted to run metro operations world over. A few metros are operated and maintained entirely by government and a few others by private parties. The intention of the workshop was to consider and examine which options could be suitable to operate Metro-3 and other upcoming metro projects in the country. The workshop in that sense was very useful and will prove to be a guiding factor for us,” opined Ashwini Bhide, MD of MMRC.

The presentation made by Vikas Kumar, Executive Director of DMRC, elaborated this very point. The Delhi Metro is completely operated and maintained in-house and is third in world (behind Hong Kong and Rio De Janeiro Metro Rails) as far as revenue making is concerned, after deducting the operation and maintenance costs. Interestingly, the Delhi Metro is supplemented by Gurgaon’s Rapid Metro Rail of which operations and maintenance are completely outsourced and is very successful in its support system. The one-day workshop also presented case studies of Metro Rail Corporations from Bangalore, Chennai and Navi Mumbai.

While the Bangalore Metro Rail already follows the DMRC model as far as operations and maintenance are concerned and haven’t outsourced crucial activities, the Chennai Metro Rail Corporation has recently deviated from outsourcing and is operating in-house. In-house operations and maintenance are cost saving and remain under control was the general consensus. The rake manufacturers Hitachi and Bombardier also participated in the day long workshop and showcased their practices, processes and systems. They expressed the importance of life cycle costs of rolling stock and how a long term maintenance contract can help obsolescence management.