Mumbai, India (Urban Transport News): The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) finally awarded the contract worth Rs 590 crores to Hyderabad-based firm Medha Servo Drives Private Limited to supply 10 rakes for the Mumbai Monorail project. With this development, MMRDA is now expecting to improve the frequency of Monorail as well as the ridership. The first 'Made in India' rake of the Monorail is likely to come in next year.
"The MMRDA has awarded the tender to Medha Servo Drives Private Limited for procurement of new 10 monorail rakes as per the decision taken in a meeting last month," said an MMRDA official.
“We are trying to revive the monorail and improvement of its route’s connectivity with metro rail and run it efficiently. Once all the new monorail rakes, which will be completely indigenous, become operational, it will reduce the headway and the ridership is expected to increase,” said SVR Srinivas, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.
In March 2019, MMRDA had commenced full-fledged operations of Monorail on 19.54-km long Corridor between Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk and Chembur via Wadala and promised to provide the frequency of trains at every 4-5 minutes, however, it was eventually 18 minutes officially, and owing to functional issues the wait time could go up to as much as 30 minutes.
The main reason behind less frequency is the non-availability sufficient number of rakes. There are only seven Monorails are in operation on the 19.54-km corridor. Some rakes are laying non-operational due to the non-availability of parts/equipment as the contract with the previous supplier and operator Scomi Rail had been terminated owing to poor services. The Mumbai Monorail is one of the loss-making projects in Maharashtra.
In July 2018, MMRDA had decided to procure 10 new Monorail rakes with four coaches each. In March 2019, the first tender was floated for the same and during which it was observed that the Chinese company CRRC was demanding several changes in terms and conditions and at the same time due to Covid-induced lockdown, the Government of India had instructed to promote the 'Make in India' and 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan'. Subsequently, the old tenders were cancelled and a new tender was floated to increase the participation of Indian companies in August 2020.
In response to the revised tender notice, three Indian companies — BHEL Limited, Titagarh Wagons and Medha Servo Drives had shown interest and submitted their bids to supply the Monorail rakes. Out of which the MMRDA shortlisted Medha Servo Drives as the lowest bidder.
The MMRDA has recently floated a tender to appoint a consultant for the procurement of rolling stock for the Mumbai Monorail Project including Review of Design and Technical Support during the Lifecycle of Procurement.