Around 10 companies have submitted Requests for Proposal (RFP) to the government, for the upcoming Chennai Monorail project. The proposals are being evaluated to shortlist firms that can participate in the financial bidding to be held soon. Some of the companies that have expressed interest are of international repute, with experience in executing the project in many cities abroad, besides being part of similar projects in other Indian cities.

The State government-appointed empowered monorail committee will shortlist applicants based on technical competence and financial viability, sources said. The companies would be given time to prepare detailed project reports for implementation of the monorail system along three elevated corridors.

The Rs. 8,500-crore 57-km-long Phase I of Chennai Monorail constitutes a network of three elevated corridors — Vandalur to Velachery via Tambaram East (23 km); Poonamallee to Kathipara via Porur (18 km); and Poonamallee to Vadapalani via Valasarawakkam (16 km). The fourth, proposed from Vandalur to Puzhal via Avadi (54 km), was axed in February. The original 111-km-long Phase I network was cropped to 57 km.

Tenders for executing the project were floated in August 2011, but the Metropolitan Transport Corporation nullified it owing to lack of adequate participation.

Monorail is not a substitute for Metro Rail, but a system that could complement it, according to industry sources. “A single system cannot cater to the needs of passengers in a city like Chennai. Integrating different modes of transport should be at the heart of an urban mobility plan,” said a consultant working in the area of public transportation.

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City PulseSeptember 24, 2010

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