As Mumbaikars are all set for their journey in the country’s first monorail, the much-anticipated Thiruvananthapuram Monorail Project, one among the two monorail projects planned in the state, is slowly picking up momentum, with the paperwork underway.
Steps have been taken to initiate the tender process for the Rs 3,590-crore project by the Kerala Monorail Corporation Ltd (KMCL), a special purpose vehicle set up to execute the elevated Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS).
“The date for submission of tenders has been extended by 20 days. A pre-bid meeting will be conducted on February 20. And by the end of April, the tenders have to be submitted. Discussions are being held for sanctioning funds and land acquisition has been going on simultaneously. The Phase I work will commence soon after the land acquisition is completed,” said P C Harikesh, managing director of KMCL.
He added that the financial consultants of the project, SBI Capital Market, would submit the financial appraisal of the project by next month. KMCL also sought the permission from the government for commencing the land acquisition process. It is also waiting to get approval for the revised DPR (detailed project report) which was submitted to the Central government after adding new chapters, including disaster management and financial viability.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will be responsible for design, preparation of bid documents, shortlisting and selection of contractors, supervision and quality certification for the monorail project. DMRC will ensure completion of the four flyovers at Sreekariyam, Ulloor, Pattom and Plamoodu in Thiruvananthapuram also.
Phase I is 22 km long, linking Pallipuram in the north to Thampanoor in the city. Each km in this phase will cost Rs 125 crore. Work on Phase II will begin in 2015 and will be completed by January 2018. Phase II will cover the distance from Thampanoor to Neyyattinkara in the south. The estimated cost of this phase is Rs 118.7 crore per km. There will be 35 stations in all in the 41.8 km-long project.
A meeting held in April 2013 chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had decided that the section of the NH from Kazhakkoottam to Kesavadasapuram spanning 9.35 kilometres will be widened to four lane for the monorail project. The width of the road will be 24 metres.
The expense for land acquisition and road development is expected to be Rs 550 crore. National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) has prepared the estimate and outline for the project. Its feasibility report had suggested the Design-Build-Own-Operate model for the multi-crore project.