Five firms to take part in bidding process

With work on the Chennai Metro Rail gaining pace, the State does not want the monorail project to lag behind. The government has now shortlisted five promoters and has said work will begin in three months.

According to officials, the process to commence work on the monorail project is nearing its final stages. Five firms will now take part in the price bidding.

“We selected the five from the eight consortia of firms that participated. We will be inviting Requests for Proposal (RFP) from the selected firms. It will take at least 90 days for the entire bidding process to get over and for the work to begin,” said a senior transport official.

An expert team has already scouted probable locations where monorail stations are likely to come up. “We have taken care to ensure that the monorail stations are near the stops or stations of other modes of transport. This will ensure a proper integration of transport facilities. Places where crowds gather were also taken into consideration,” said the official.

The official said that monorail work will not affect traffic flow as it needs minimal space. “There is no need for big pillars and the damage to environment will be very limited. Even the time taken to complete all the work on the monorail will be very little,” said the official.

Once both the monorail and Metro Rail work is completed, a common ticket system may be introduced. “This can be done if all the modes of transport are integrated,” said the official.

The government has identified four corridors for monorail — Vandalur to Velachery (23 km); Poonamallee to Kathipara Junction (16 km); Poonamallee to Vadapalani (18 km) and Vandalur to Puzhal (54 km). Work will first be taken up in the first three corridors and, subsequently, in the fourth corridor. The estimated cost for the first phase of the project is Rs. 8,500 crore.