Norms relaxed to attract specialised firms

Global tenders will be floated in two weeks, with less stringent norms, to select the developer-contractor for the Rs.5,581-crore monorail, an elevated Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS), in and Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram The board meeting of Kerala Monorail Corporation Ltd. (KMCL), the Special Purpose Vehicle set up to execute the project in the two cities, chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here on Wednesday, gave clearance to the general consultant, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), to float the global tenders.

The decision to float the tenders again was taken as only one firm, Bombardier Transportation, had come forward with the Expression of Interest (EoI) earlier.

The KMCL board approved relaxation of norms to attract firms specialising in MRTS. As per revised norms, the rolling stock manufacturer need not be the lead partner, and instead should be a technical partner.

Vice-chairman of KMCL and Minister for Public Works V. K. Ebrahim Kunju said the clause that the company should mobilise funds for the project had been removed. This would pave way for domestic borrowing for the project.

The board also approved the suggestion to reduce the tender process to two-stage and to expedite the project.

As per the new plan, global tenders will be floated within two weeks by the DMRC and the tender process will be completed in three months.

Global tenders will be floated by treating the two projects as one as only a 36.4-km stretch will be covered in the first phase in both the cities.

The board gave approval to SBI Capital Market Ltd. to appraise the project for preparing a roadmap to generate funds for the project.

The meeting was attended by board members Minister for Transport Aryadan Mohammed; Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali; and Minister for Panchayats and Social Welfare M.K. Muneer, among others.