India’s Only Monorail Likely To Get ‘Made In India’ Trains
Monorail to get Made In India trains, MMRDA has received three bids to purchase monorail trains for India’s only such project plying between Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle.
By Ateeq Shaikh
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has received three bids to purchase monorail trains for India’s only such project plying between Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle in Mumbai.
These three interested companies are BHEL, Titagarh Wagons and Medha Servo Drives-SMH Rail, Malaysia, shared sources. On Tuesday, bids to procure monorail were opened by the MMRDA.
This may perhaps be the first time ever that coaches manufactured in India are being used for either a monorail or a metro rail. India has largely relied on international players to procure metro rail rakes.
The Mumbai Monorail project has been facing several technical snags even before it was opened for public operations on February 1, 2014. After the commercial operations commenced, the range of troubles included train stopping midway, brake failure, axle giving away, tyre falling on the road, fire, etc.
As per original plans of the project, there should have been 15 trains to service passengers, but, the MMRDA was handed only 10 train sets manufactured by Malaysian firm Scomi Engineering. Of these 10 train sets, only 7 are operational and a couple of them have to be kept aside on standby mode, thereby leaving behind only 5 trains plying on the 20-km route, which is one-third of the trains basis the original project plan.
Once the bids submitted by the three companies are evaluated, the final cost quoted by the companies would get revealed to procure 10 new train sets under the ‘Make In India’ initiative.
At the moment, the estimated cost to purchase each train set consisting of four coaches is approximately Rs 40 crore.
The bid to purchase new monorail rakes was floated last year, but was scrapped as Chinese companies too had evinced interest in supplying the trains, thereby forcing MMRDA to float a fresh bid to be ‘Atmanirbhar’.