First step of fresh global bidding process
In a move signalling that Chennai's monorail project is back on track, a pre-application conference was held at the Metropolitan Transport Corporation's headquarters here on Wednesday.
This is the first step of the fresh global competitive bidding process which was initiated on December 1 after the previous tender was annulled because of limited participation.
A senior government official said that seven-eight entities have expressed interest. But since the process is at an early stage, a few more consortiums could get into the fray before competitive bidding begins, he added.
All applicants would have to submit their proposal by February 20, following which the government's Empowered Monorail Committee would pre-qualify and shortlist suitable applicants.
The ‘qualified' applicants would enter a round of financial bidding. A two-month period is likely to be given to prepare a Detailed Project Report for the implementation of a monorail system along four elevated corridors, totalling 111-km, which has already been identified by the State government.
Since very few applicants could clear the ‘threshold technical criteria' set by the government in the first tender, the new set of requirements mandate that it would be sufficient if the entity was awarded or has constructed any ‘core sector' project, not necessarily an urban rail project, under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in the last five fiscal years.
The definition of core sector project is broad and includes the development of ports, airports, highways, expressways, bridges, airfields, industrial parks/ estates and pipelines, among others.
In order to encourage the formation of consortiums, the government's Request For Proposal (RFQ) stipulates that an entity is ‘eligible' as long as one partner company has experience in operation and maintenance of a metro/mono/any rail project in the last two years.
Sources in the government said that the user fee of the monorail system would be “pre-determined”.
The government-fixed fare structure would be a combination of a base tariff and a reasonable per annum hike.
The Chennai Monorail system is proposed to constitute a network of four elevated corridors – Vandalur to Puzhal via Avadi (54 km); Vandalur to Velachery via Tambaram East (23 km); Poonamallee to Kathipara via Porur (18 km); and Poonamallee to Vadapalani via Valasarawakkam (16 km).