The State government has decided to approach the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to fund one of the two corridors of the Chennai Mono Rail Project - Vandalur-Velachery, even as pre-qualification bids have been floated for the other corridor - Poonamallee to Kathipara.

As per a conservative estimate, the cost of the 23-km-long Vandalur-Velachery corridor will be around Rs. 4,000 crore. Those who are part of the project formulation say it may take a year for completing all the formalities with the JICA.

As for the Poonamallee-Kathipara corridor, it is for the project developer to raise funds.

For this, against the original two alignments, the authorities have made it into one, by including essential features of the now-abandoned Poonamallee-Vadapalani corridor.

Apart from Vadapalani, areas such as Valasaravakkam and Virugumbakkam will be covered. The estimated cost of the Poonamallee-Kathipara corridor has been reduced to Rs. 3,235 crore, against Rs. 8,000 crore earlier.

It is for the third time that the bidding process has been initiated for the Chennai Mono Rail Project, one of the flagship projects of the present government.

Between August and December 2011, the first round of the bidding process was conducted by inviting request for qualifications. Not satisfied with the limited number of participants, the authorities decided to start the process afresh. In the second round, a couple of prospective promoters were shortlisted, but eventually, these firms did not participate in the bidding process. About six months ago, the tender was allowed to lapse, says an official. This is why the authorities had to go in for the third round.

By July, the entire bidding process will be completed, according to the schedule drawn up by the authorities. As for the monorail’s Vandalur-Velachery corridor, the funding arrangement will based on that of the Chennai Metro Rail Project.

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