The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is evaluating bids submitted by IL&FS and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure for handling operations and maintenance of the country’s first monorail.
“We have received a communication from the existing operator L&T-Scomi Engineering (LTSC) saying they will not be able to continue the O&M services. We are evaluating the bids received from IL&FS and RInfra for the same,” MMRDA Additional Metropolitan Commissioner Sanjay Khandare said.
Services on the 8.9 km stretch from Chembur to Wadala (phase 1), which was made operational in 2014, were suspended after two rakes caught fire in November last year.
LTSC is implementing the second phase 10.6 km corridor from Wadala to Jacob Circle and trial runs are being conducted.
The MMRDA has levied a penalty of Rs 7.5 lakh per day from January 1 on the consortium for missing the deadline for commissioning the second line almost 15 times.
The MMRDA used to pay Rs 4,000 per service to the operator, but it has not done so since November when services were suspended after a fire gutted two coaches.
The MMRDA has also asked the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) to check if they can operate the monorail corridor.
An L&T spokesperson refused to comment.
However, according to a source, as per the agreement for the monorail contract, the operator was liable to carry out O&M services for three years.
“Since it has been more than three years and since the monorail is not operational, the consortium has decided to pull out of O&M services. For the second phase, it is awaiting a go-ahead on safety compliance,” the source said.
Khandare said the state government’s Urban Development Department (UDD) has raised certain issues on compliance of Commissioner of Rail Safety (CRS) by the consortium after the fire incident.
“If they (consortium) have complied with all the necessary measures for safety, then they could get the go- ahead from the government,” he added.
When asked whether the consortium has given five more rakes as per the contract, Khandare said, “We already have 10 rakes. They (Scomi) were supposed to give the rest five rakes after making certain improvements. But they have not yet started the production.