Bid steam to metro dream

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By PIYUSH KUMAR TRIPATHI
  • Published 29.01.12
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Patna, Jan. 28: The state government has released a global notice inviting proposal (NIP) to select a consultant for conducting technical and financial feasibility of the proposed metro or monorail project in the capital.

“The burgeoning population of Patna has necessitated the need of a mass rapid transit system. The government is for the first time conducting a study to assess the feasibility of metro or monorail. We would start construction work depending upon the timely preparation of the feasibility report and its subsequent approval. It will not take much time though,” urban development minister Prem Kumar told The Telegraph.

March 12 has been fixed as the last date for submission of bids for the feasibility study. According to sources, the selected firm/consortia has to conduct topographical, demographical and traffic footprint survey and suggest route alignments, approach roads, locations of the proposed terminal stations along with feasible technology to be adopted for the rail system.

Following the submission of respective feasibility reports by the selected consultant, the urban development department would issue expression of interest for the construction of the metro rail project. The construction work can start at least after a year-and-a-half, depending upon timely actions.

Shashi Shekhar Sharma, principal secretary of the urban development department, told The Telegraph: “We are conducting an international competitive bidding for the selection of a firm or a consortia of firms, which would be entrusted with the task of conducting the techno-economic feasibility study for the proposed urban rail system in Patna.

The department issued the NIP on January 25 and the request- for-proposal documents would also be available on the department’s website within a couple of days.

The feasibility study would evaluate the viability of both metro and monorail or their combination in the capital. We would select the intending firm or the consortia by the end of March and the short listed company/consortium would be given six months’ time to furnish the respective report.”

Sharma is also the nodal officer of Patna Integrated Mass rapid Transport System (PIMRTS).

The metro rail project, to be undertaken in public-private-partnership mode, is being considered one of the options under the proposed PIMRTS.

According to sources, the urban development department has already been approached by many leading metro infrastructure development firms, including Larsen & Toubro Ltd and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for conducting the feasibility study and construction work for the Patna metro project.

The urban development department has received consent from the central planning commission for providing its technical support for the metro rail project. Official of the planning commission had held meetings with the state government in July and September last year.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar also gave a green signal for the Patna metro project in the November 2011.

According to the sources, the metro corridor is expected to cover 40-45 km in Patna in the first phase at an estimated cost of Rs 8,000 crore.

According to sources, the two most feasible routes at present are Danapur to Patna city via the banks of the Ganga and Saguna Mod to Fraser Road via Bailey Road. The two routes have an almost straight alignment and it would require minimum structural re-orientation during the infrastructure development for the metro corridors.