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From Times of India:

For monorail projects, it's Bombardier again
May 31, 2014, 02.51 PM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The retendering of the monorail project turned out to be a waste of time. Only a single bidder - a consortium formed by Canadian firm Bombardier Transportations - expressed interest in the Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode monorail projects in the second tender too. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC), general consultants of Kerala monorail projects, opened the bid on Friday.

DMRC sources said a four-member consortium - comprising Bombardier Transportation (Holdings) USA Inc, Bombardier Transportation India Ltd, Afcons Infrastructure Ltd and Shapoorji Pallonji Company Ltd -- was the single bidder for the multi-crore project.

It was almost certain that the project would have only a single bidder even during re-tender as only Bombardier had conducted a soil investigation in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. Besides, public works minister V K Ebrahim Kunju had earlier stated that the project would be awarded even if there was only one bidder.

Bombardier was also the only bidder in the first tender, opened in October. Following this, the state government had asked the DMRC to revise certain clauses.

A senior official of Kerala Monorail Corporation Ltd said the financial bid would be opened on Saturday. "The corporation will conduct a detailed evaluation after opening the financial bid. The evaluation is meant to check if the consortium meets all criteria set by the DMRC," he said.

The DMRC is expected to submit a report to the monorail corporation in a week. The corporation will convene a high-level meeting and submit the report to the board of directors. A final report will be submitted to the state government for the selection of consortium.

In the four-member consortium, Bombardier will supply the rolling stock for monorail while Afcons and Shapoorji will do the civil works.

Asked why there was only a single bidder for the project even after re-tender, a corporation official said only a few companies had expertise in monorail rolling stock across the globe. "The main global players are Bombardier, Scomi and Hitachi. Of these, Hitachi didn't express much interest in the project. Scomi had a shortfall in criteria set by the DMRC. That's how Bombardier became the sole bidder," the official said.

Funding will be the next major challenge for Rs 3,590-crore Thiruvananthapuram monorail project and the Rs 1,991-crore Kozhikode project.
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