Tender for Metro coaches: Kochi Metro solves width problem

KOCHI: Following a recent controversy over fixing the width of Kochi Metro coaches at 2.9 meters by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has decided to keep the width at a “maximum of 2.9 meters” to enable all major companies to participate in the tender process.

The 15th meeting of the board of directors of the Metro agency on November 4 took the decision “to set a maximum coach width and not to fix the width at 2.9 meters”. Earlier, DMRC had fixed the width at 2.9 meters. However, later KMRL published a corrigendum on their website incorporating the decision.

According to sources close to Kochi Metro, the last date for submitting tenders have been postponed to December 16.

The tenders floated by DMRC to procure 75 coaches for Kochi Metro had come under serve criticism. Some manufacturers alleged that the bid parameters fixed by the Metro authority, particularly those relating to the coach width, would favour one company. These companies had raised their apprehensions before KMRL. It was reported that KMRL also objected to the bidding parameters, which fixed the width at 2.9 meters, stating that in case the complainant approached the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) against the norm then DMRC would be answerable.

The decision taken by KMRL’s board of directors will enable companies that make coaches with a width of 2.7 and 2.8 meters to participate in the tender. “DMRC has also approved KMRL’s decision,” said a source.

When contacted, KMRL spokesperson refused to confirm the decision. “We have posted the corrigendum on KMRL’s website. As of now we cannot add anything more to that,” the spokesperson said.