Mumbai monorail, India’s first, has no takers, as MMRDA floats bids for 4th time in a year
There had been no bidders when tender was floated for the third time to find an operation and maintenance contractorUpdated: Mar 03, 2018 18:42 IST
A year on, the country’s first monorail seems to find no takers to operate it. On Saturday, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the implementing agency for the project, floated bids for the fourth time in a year to find an operation and maintenance contractor for the 19.6km corridor from Chembur to Jacob Circle via Wadala.
While the last date for bidders to submit their estimates was February 28, officials said that the one bidder who wanted to submit bids could not upload the documents on the website owing to technical difficulties. UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA said, “Since there were no bids, we could not technically extend the tender deadline. We have floated fresh tenders but with a limited time-frame, the bids have to be submitted by March 12.”
When tenders were floated for the first time in early 2017, bidders had reverted with problems in tender conditions owing to which the conditions were relaxed. However, after tenders were floated for the second time in October, the MMRDA received just a single bidder –ILFS.
As per norms, when tenders are floated the first time, the planning authority must receive more than one bid to process further.
Sources said that the Gautam Adani-owned Adani group has shown interest in running the monorail. So has Reliance Infrastructure, which is expected to submit bids.
Initiated in 2014, India’s first monorail has been marred by constant delays, disruptions, accidents and maintenance issues. The response of the commuters for the first stretch between Chembur and Wadala was poor. The 8.8km first phase between Chembur and Wadala has not been operational since November 2017 when two rakes of a monorail were charred in a fire at the Mysore Colony station. The MMRDA is also awaiting a nod from the commissioner of railway safety to begin operations for the second phase between Wadala and Jacob Circle.
MMRDA officials also said that once the work orders are given to the operator, the company will take a minimum of 2-3 months to stabilise.
The MMRDA officials are also hopeful that the monorail will get better response from commuters once it starts plying on the entire Chembur to Jacob Circle stretch.