Monorail project behind schedule

The execution of much-awaited Chennai monorail project, expected to take off by the start of the New Year, might be delayed by a few more months as only a few firms of the five fin­al­ised consortiums have tu­rned up to receive the documents for participating in the final stage of the bidding process. Besides, the delay in deciding the categorisation of monorail– whether it falls under tram Act or railway Act - is also he causing further delay.

Sources in the government told DC that only two consortiums of the eligible five have approached them to participate in the final stage of tendering process of Rs 8,500 crore project. “The government had recently finalised the RFP (Request for proposal) draft document to enable the five identified bidders to gear up for the final stage of bidding. Only two consortia of firms including the L&T have availed the draft RFP on paying a sum,” a source said.

However, they can submit the bid only after availing final RFP application from the government which is yet to be prepared.

This apart, state government is yet to overcome the major legal hurdle - categorization of monorail – that delays release of final RFP to the prospective project promoters. “The government needs to categorically state that the monorail falls under the tram Act or railway Act in the document. Until then, the government cannot provide final RFP to bidders. This will delay the process further,” said a source.

Meanwhile, Suhaimi Yaacob, president (rail), SCOMI Engineering, another eligible bidder, said that they were hoping to submit the bid by March or June.

It may be noted that the Bangalore metro rail authorities had faced a problem when the railway authorities refused to issue clearance for the project being implemented under the Tramways Act.
The TN government has identified four corridors in Chennai– Vandalur to Velachery (23 km); Poona­mallee to Kathipara Jun­ction (16 km); Poona­mallee to Vadapalani (18 km) and Vandalur to Puzhal
(54 km).

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