Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Monorail may be on track soon

Monorail may be on track soon
S Praveen Dhaneshkar, Bangalore, Mar 9, DHNS:

Monorail corridors for the City are close to reality with the project awaiting the approval of the chief minister, according to sources in the State Infrastructure Development Department (IDD).

The mention of monorail in the budget speech, as part of transport infrastructure improvement for Bangalore, is seen as a positive step in the implementation of the project.
The project is proposed to be taken up under the “Swiss Challenge” method. A presentation was made to the Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) last year to discuss its implementation as a special purpose vehicle.

Under the “Swiss Challenge” route, if the tender proposal is cleared by a high-level committee, the government will call global tenders based on the technical and financial parameters proposed by the participating firm. Any company can challenge any component of the original proposal. In this method of award of contract, the proposer (bidder) has the first right of refusal after a bidding process.

A government order on the project proposal was issued on April 3, 2009. The lone bidder, Scomi Geodesic from Malaysia, not only evinced interest in the project and but also proposed four corridors for the City. “The IDD had even set a timetable for implementation of the project. Global tenders were to be floated, with the request for qualification expected to be invited in January and to be followed up by the request for proposal in August. But, a host of issues — BBMP polls and floods in north Karnataka —forced a change of priorities, delaying the project,” said an ABIDe member.

As per the plan prepared last year, the nodal implementation agency, Bangalore Airport Rail Link Limited is supposed to announce the appointment of the concessionaire in October 2010. “The monorail proposal may only be initiated by the government after the Phase-1 of Metro is commissioned (March 2013),” the ABIDe member added.

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