For the manufacturing of 10 new Mumbai Monorail rakes, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has finally obtained three bids from Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Titagarh Wagons Limited and Medha Servo Drives Private Limited and SMH, Malaysia. With this, MMRDA's long wait to buy new monorail rakes in a bid to run the service efficiently in coming years has come to an end.
Interestingly, for the first time in Indian Metro and Monorail history, all the bidders are Indian companies. Therefore, 100 per cent of the trains will be manufactured in India only. Additionally, focus will now be on indigenous spare parts through Indian vendor development to promote the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, according to MMRDA.
Earlier, MMRDA had issued a request for proposal (RPF) from interested bidders for the procurement of new 10 monorail rakes. The said tender bids were opened on March 2.
MMRDA has explained that, considering the pre- and post-pandemic situation due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the world, the Indian Prime Minister had announced the policies under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ to promote and revive the Indian economy. Also, in line with the existing Make in India scheme, it has decided to encourage manufacturers having a setup in India and experience in manufacturing rolling stocks. Accordingly it had modified the tender so that Indian technology partners could participate and fulfill the demand of manufacturing the required Monorail rakes for the existing system.
Currently, with the availability of only four rolling stocks, comprising four coaches each, the Monorail services have been operational. Due to lack of rakes, the time gap between two trips cannot be improved. The existing rakes were built in Malaysia by Scomi Rail Bhd, the previous operator. As per reports, in December 2018, the said operator was terminated over failure to fulfill contractual obligations. Thereafter, MMRDA took over the operation and maintenance (O&M) and commissioned the full corridor comprising 19 kilometers from Chembur to Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk in March 2019.