Mumbai: The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has set in motion the process to procure the rolling stock (rakes) to run the services on the Metro-III corridor even though the bidders for the civil work are yet to be finalized.
According to the bid document that has been made public, it is an “invitation for pre-qualification of bidders for design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of rolling stock”.
A total of 35 trains will be procured to service Mumbaikars on the entire 33.5-km-long underground metro line. “Each train will have six coaches or compartments,” said an MMRC official.
The 32.5km-long Metro-III corridor (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) is expected to ready by 2019 as per the original deadline set by the government. MMRC has invited bids for shortlisting the bidders for design, manufacture, supply, installation and commission of rolling stock.
A senior MMRC official said, “We plan to have 35 rakes of six coaches on the system. As per our estimated, the cost of procuring the rolling stock will be around Rs 1700 crore to Rs 2000 crore.”
An estimated Rs,1764 crore has been earmarked for the rolling stock. However, it does not include inflation, central and state taxes, octroi and insurance costs. At the moment, Colaba to Seepz metro line has an estimated cost of Rs.23136 crore, but a hike in civil construction cost is likely to happen. “The civil work bids have not be finalized but that does not mean that the work cannot begin on other equally important components of the project. There will be financial bids too and there after the bidder will be selected. It is long drawn process and we do not want the project to get delayed because of procedural reasons. The manufacturer too will need to adequate time to deliver the rakes in time to ferry commuters,” another official said. The civil work for station and underground tunnel is expected to begin before the end of this financial year. The official further said that any delay in the tendering process can also have an implication on the cost of the project due to inflation and foreign exchange fluctuations.
The entire corridor will have 27 stations, out of which 26 will be underground and only one would be at grade (at ground level).
At the moment the plan is to commence operation of the route in a phased manner so that the systems can get stabilised. The plan is to commence with the first phase of commercial operations from December, 2018. The entire route will be ready for the public only by April, 2020.
As per the planning, the work is always given priority at the end where the car depot is planned. Since, the depot is going to shift to Kanjurmarg from Aarey, it is but obvious that work on Kanjurmar-Seepz will begin and conclude first.
If chief minister Devendra Fadnavis decides to have a car depot for underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz metro line at Kanjurmarg, it would mean that the entire route would be commissioned in four phases. Only if a decision is taken to partially relocate the car depot at Kanjurmarg (apart from the proposed Aarey Milk Colony) or else Mumbaikars would witness commencement of operations in three phases.
The four phases would be Kanjurmarg-Seepz scheduled to be ready by December, 2018, followed by Seepz-Bandra Kurla Complex in June 2019, Bandra Kurla Complex-Science Museum (Worli) in December, 2019, and then the last stretch of south Mumbai, which is Science Museum-Colaba by April, 2020.
“Not all 35 trains would be delivered at once. They would come one after the other spread over a certain time frame. This would also help in rolling out operations in a phased manner as initially not all 35 trains would be required to ferry passengers,” said an MMRC official.