Chinese firm retains contract for 216 Namma Metro coaches
BMRCL was on the verge of terminating the contract.
BENGALURU: The contract between the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) and CRRC Corporation Ltd, a Chinese firm, is here to stay with 90% of the manufacturing for the 34 train sets comprising 204 coaches to be done within India now, said multiple sources.Following its inability to acquire land to set up shop on its own, it has entered into a tie-up with the Kolkata-based firm Titagarh Wagon Ltd (TWL).
The deal entered into by BMRCL with CRRC’s subsidiary Nanjing Puzhen Co Ltd for Rs 1,578 crore in December 2019 encountered major hurdles as the firm could not keep up the deadline and it was taken to court.“CRRC’s move to set up its own manufacturing centre at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh to supply coaches for BMRCL did not work out,” a reliable Metro source said.
BMRCL was on the verge of terminating the contract. The firm sought more time to sort out the issue and has finally entered into a MoU with TWL last week for the same, the source added. Another BMRCL source said, “We have agreed to the new arrangement being put in place. Of the 36 train sets, 34 train sets will be readied within India now. TWL will set up stainless steel car body manufacturing facilities under the guidance of CRRC. This will be a major boost to the Make In India policy of the Centre.” Just two train sets (12 coaches) will be readied in China and both would be the prototype ones which will be deployed for testing.
This arrangement has helped BMRCL save over Rs 400 crore now, he said. “This would have been the additional cost incurred if retendering had been called due to the steep rise in cost of stainless steel and general hike in price of other components, “ the source added.
Of the 36 train sets, 15 will be Communication Based Train Control (CVTC) sets and will be deployed on RV Road-Bommasandra Line (Reach-5). “We are looking at commissioning the line by June next year and these 90 coaches are set to be delivered by then,” another source said. Of them, 21 coaches are based on Distance To Go (DTG) technology and will be used on Purple and Green lines and their extensions.
Incorporation of these coaches next year will help in bringing down the time gap between two trains during non-peak hours to 3.5 minutes, an official said.