With rapid expansion of metro rail projects in the country, the ministry of urban development has now made it mandatory that 75 per cent of metro cars and 25 per cent of critical equipment and sub-systems be produced in the country, as part of its efforts to promote 'Make in India'.
Accordingly, it has stipulated certain mandatory conditions to be incorporated in tender documents of metro companies for procurement of metro cars and related critical equipment and sub-systems, including procurement of only Made in India signalling equipment besides standardising technical parameters for rolling stock (metro coaches) and signaling equipment.
The new mandatory tender conditions and standardised norms for a wide range of equipment, approved by the minister of urban development M Venkaiah Naidu, have been circulated to all the metro companies, making them effective immediately.
These initiatives will incentivise setting up of manufacturing facilities in the country by increasing the volume of procurement of rolling stock and all kinds of equipment by removing variations in the present technical norms for rolling stock and signalling equipment. This will in turn result in reduction of cost through economies of scale.
The ministry has stipulated the following mandatory conditions to be incorporated in the tender documents:
- Minimum 75 per cent of the tendered quantity of metro cars shall be manufactured indigenously with progressive indigenisation of content;
- The contractor may either establish independent manufacturing facility in India or partner with Indian manufacturers, if the procurement is more than 100 cars;
- Identify critical equipment and sub-systems in tender documents to facilitate ease in maintenance through easy availability of spares beyond the warranty period;
- Ensuring indigenous manufacturing of a minimum of 25 per cent of such equipment, either by original equipment manufacturers or through wholly-owned subsidiaries in India or through Indian manufacturers;
- Requirement of metro cars at state level should be clubbed to enable applicability of local procurement norms; and
- To develop in-house expertise on long term basis for metro companies with large size fleet to undertake in-house maintenance.
A total number of 1,912 metro coaches are currently operational in the country with another 1,420 under procurement. Over the next three years more than 1,600 metro cars would be required. Each metro coach is estimated to cost about Rs.10 crore.
The ministry has concluded the long-pending standaridisation of norms for rolling stock and signaling equipment applicable to over 90 per cent of the present imports.
Further, to promote indigenous manufacturing, the ministry has stipulated procurement of 9 types of signaling equipment from within the country.
Metro companies have also been directed to develop maximum possible local competence so that knowhow and technical support is available within the country. Indian companies have to be associated with production of a wide range of signaling and train control project equipment.
Indigenisation of several metro functions has also been prescribed. These relate to communication systems, managing operational disturbances, timetable preparation, fault reporting, control traction power, maintenance, infrastructure supervision, rolling stock management etc.
The new standardised norms prescribe that the rolling stock and related equipment and systems shall enable unattended train operations, driverless train operations, standard rail gauge of 1,435 mm, metro cars with body width of 2.90 meters for passenger capacity of up to 45,000 peak hour peak distance capacity, body width of 3.20 meters for capacity above 45,000 PHPD, only 3 car, 6 car or 9 car rail combination, operational speed of 80 kmph, minimum 67 per cent motorization for all rolling stock etc.
Norms have also been prescribed for acceleration rates, energy consumption, noise and vibration levels, collision standards etc.
Further to these initiatives, the ministry of urban development will soon evolve common eligible criteria for suppliers of rolling stock and other equipment doing away with the present variations across different metro companies.
Rajiv Gauba, secretary (UD) discussed with managing directors of metro companies on Friday the variations in the present eligibility criteria. Noting that such variations adversely impact competition, he directed that a broadly uniform criteria in respect of net worth, financial and technical capacities and experience of supply of rolling stock and other equipment etc should be evolved in two weeks.
At present, metros are operating in 7 cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Bengaluru and Chennai with a total route length of 326 km. Metro projects with a total route length of 546 km are under construction in 11 cities and projects with a total route length of 903 km in 13 cities are under consideration.