French engineering major Alstom, which has acquired Bombardier Transportation, has cancelled the order received by the latter to supply coaches for the Mumbai metro project’s fourth line and its extension (Mumbai Metro-4 and 4A) due to delays in the project.
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the state agency that is responsible for the implementation of metro projects awarded the contract to supply 234 coaches or 39 trains for the Metro-4 (Wadala-Thane-Kasarwadavali) and Metro-4A (Kasarwadavali-Gaimukh) to Bombardier Transportation in March 2021, after it emerged the lowest bidder with a bid of Rs 1,198 crore. But the delays in handing over land for a car depot and other issues with the project prompted Alstom to pull out of the job.
“Bombardier has withdrawn because the project has been going on slowly; only 5-10% of the work has been completed so far. Depot land was yet to be made available. We were telling them we are working on it but they decided to cancel it,” SVR Srinivas, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, told Moneycontrol.
In an email response to a query from Moneycontrol, Alstom said, “Following signing of Letter of Acceptance (LoA) for Rolling Stock of Mumbai Line 4 in March 2021, there have been overall challenges in progressing with project execution due to delays on various fronts, including civil work. Alstom engaged with relevant stakeholders to find a possible resolution. After exhausting all avenues, the decision has been taken not to proceed with this contract.”
Metro Line 4 from Wadala to Kasarvadavali is planned to be a 32.32 km long elevated corridor with 32 stations. The project is aimed at connecting the Eastern Express Roadway, Central Railway, Mono Rail, the ongoing Metro Line 2B (D N Nagar to Mandale), and the proposed Metro Line 5 (Thane to Kalyan), Metro Line 6 (Swami Samarth Nagar to Vikhroli) & Metro Line 8 (Wadala to General Post Office). MMRDA had earlier said that this project would reduce the current travel time by anything between 50% and 75%, depending on road conditions.
“We will now have to re-bid this contract. We will take some time to call new bids, the work is moving slowly so we can do it after 3-4 months. We are trying to speed up the project,” Srinivas said.
He said that MMRDA is looking at alternative options for the depot and may move it to the Mogharpada area in Thane.
“Through this project, Alstom was looking forward to strengthening the mobility infrastructure for the citizens of Mumbai. Despite this exception, we remain strongly committed to India’s infrastructural development & the government’s Make-in-India vision,” Alstom said.
Alstom is currently executing a contract for Mumbai Metro Line 3, which includes supply of rolling stock, power supply and signaling. The company said in the email that two train sets for Line 3 are ready and the third one is under production at its factory in SriCity at Andhra Pradesh. These train sets will soon be delivered to Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL).
Alstom is engaged with metro projects in other parts of India as well and the company said that cancelling the coach order for Mumbai Metro 4 will not have an impact on its ongoing and future projects.
“There will be no impact of this development on future and ongoing projects. We have always been keen to explore suitable sustainable transport solutions and it’s encouraging to see India draw up plans to bring in newer technologies in both, mainline and urban mobility sector,” the company said.
Metropolitan Commissioner Srinivas said that work on metro projects in the city is progressing well and two lines, Mumbai Metro Line 2A and Mumbai Metro Line 7, may start operations soon. “The inspection of these projects are going on; once these are completed, we will start operations soon,” he said.
Mumbai Metro Line 2A will run between Dahisar and DN Nagar areas in Mumbai. Line 7 connects Dahisar East with Andheri East. Bth these projects are built on elevated lines.Mumbai started operations of its first metro line, which connects Ghatkopar-Andheri-Versova, in 2014. Since then, the city has faced delays in many of these projects and is yet to have a second operational line.