Tender norms to select an exclusive developer-contractor for the Rs.5,581-crore monorail, an elevated Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS), in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode have been relaxed to overcome the “lack of interest” from overseas firms dealing with the MRTS.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), general consultant for Kerala Mono Rail Corporation Ltd (KMCL), the special purpose vehicle set up by the government to execute the project in the cities, has agreed to the request put forward by the State to relax the norms to take the project forward.

As per revised norms, the rolling stock manufacturer need not be the lead partner.

Instead, the rolling stock manufacturer should become a technical partner.

The supplier credit norm has also been removed in the wake of the directive of the Urban Affairs Ministry, thereby avoiding the clause that the company coming forward should mobilise funds for the project. This has paved the way for domestic burrowing.

Confirming this to The Hindu, Minister for Public Works and Vice-Chairman of KMCL V.K. Ebrahim Kunju said a DMRC meeting in New Delhi on Monday agreed to float global tenders again after incorporating the changes in the norms.

The DMRC will submit the revised tender documents within 21 days to the State and it will be put up in the next board meeting of KMCL for approval.

The Minister said the tender formalities will be reduced from three stages to two to save time and to stick to the road map fixed for the flagship project of State.

State Planning Board member and Principal Consultant of the DMRC E. Sreedharan and Managing Director of KMCL Harikesh attended the meeting. The government is awaiting a detailed report from the DMRC in this regard.

The State was forced to suggest relaxing the norms as only Bombardier Transportation came forward with the expression of interest (EOI) when the extended deadline for submission ended on October 17. The State was also of the view not to go forward with the EOI from one company and should go for retendering.

Firms specialising in MRTS from the U. K., Japan, Malaysia, Korea, and China had evinced interest in the project and attended the pre-EOI conference. Sources said the firms that backed out of the EOI will now come forward with the relaxation of norms.

Engineering- procurement- construction turnkey basis has been mooted for the execution of project. Global tenders will be floated again by treating the two monorail projects as one, as only a 36.4-km stretch would be covered in the first phase in both the cities.

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