Tamil Nadu

Is it the end of Monorail?

Despite several rounds of bidding process, the Chennai Monorail, the pet project of the ruling AIADMK government, still seems to be buried in paperwork.

Since the revival of the project by the present government that took over in May 2011, the Monorail has been moving only in fits and starts. The first round of bidding was during August-December 2011. As the number of participants were limited, the authorities scrapped it.

In the second round, a couple of prospective promoters were shortlisted but they did not participate in the bidding process. Around August 2013, the second tender lapsed. In the past two years, few more rounds of bidding have taken place.

In fact, Transport Minister Senthil Balaji told the Assembly in February this year that Monorail tenders would be finalised within a few days. More than six months have passed. Only the Minister has been dropped from the cabinet.   

Two bidders are in the fray but for a few months now both the bidders have been raising unrealistic queries some of which can’t be met. This has cast doubts in the minds of the transport officials about the seriousness of the bidders whom they think are hesitant to take up the project due to a sluggish economy and the impending elections. 

Even if the Adani Group builds the solar park in Kamudhi at Ramanathapuram district by March 31, 2016, it may not be enough. According to Tangedco sources, the agreement has it that the power has to be fed from the solar park to the grid by that day.

At present, the Adani Group is in the process of purchasing land in the district for setting up the 650 MW solar park at a cost of Rs 4,536 crore and has entered into an agreement with Tangedco for Rs 7.01 per unit.

Officials of the power utility say that, apart from the solar park, the infrastructure for evacuation also has to be ready by the time. Already, tender has been floated for a substation for this purpose. Still, officials are sceptical about the possibility of the Adani Group getting the quoted price for 650MW.

The principal of Dr. Ambedkar Government Arts College in Chennai who was removed from his post last week following charges of demanding bribe for admission from a student has found support among a section of the Association of University Teachers.

A senior office bearer of the association from a city-based aided college, which has been frequently holding protests in the last two years, says it is strange that a professor was being punished when all is not well with teacher appointments and transfers.

(Reporting by B. Aravind Kumar and R. Sujatha)  

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 6:37:01 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/is-it-the-end-of-monorail/article7548449.ece