Mumbai: Some of the world’s largest manufacturers of urban railway systems are gearing up to battle for a share of orders worth as much as 480 billion rupees ($7.5 billion) for coaches & signaling equipment from India’s richest city, Mumbai. Mumbai, plans to invest as much as 800 billion rupees on a major overhaul of its transport system by setting up a high-speed urban rail network to ease the burden on its conventional suburban railways.
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- The local units of railway transport systems makers include Alstom SA, Bombardier Inc. & Siemens AG are set to bid for contracts to supply railway coaches, signaling & electrical systems and other non-civil works.
- U.P.S. Madan, the chief of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), said Indian & Chinese companies have also shown interest in the project, which includes a 33.5-km, mostly underground railway along with 6 elevated lines, adding up to 190 kilometers to be built over 6 years.
- Tilak Raj Seth, head of mobility at Siemens, said in an interview,“The Mumbai numbers are attractive enough for a number of manufacturers.”
- “We are interested in all electrical and mechanical systems in the entire metro project. Apart from civil and track, we are interested in everything,” he said.
- Alstom, Bombardier & Siemens are keen to supply railway coaches, rolling stock, signaling & other electrical components which; make up about 60% of the total cost of the Mumbai metro project, according to Madan.
- Bharat Salhotra, managing director at Alstom India & South Asia, said india and the overall Asia-Pacific region, “reflect a very vibrant part of the total pie because of the sheer pressure on urbanization that is happening here.”
- Harsh Dhingra, chief country representative of Bombardier in India, said the size of orders anticipated from MMRDA and the spread of such urban railway projects to other cities will boost investments in India.
- He said, given the MMRDA’s efforts, the projects will probably be awarded and the new lines will be operational in the next 3-4 years.
- According to U.P.S. Madan, the chief of the MMRDA, the current rail network’s capacity to carry 7 million commuters daily will be doubled by the new lines.
- That compares with the 5.7 million riders that used the New York city subway system on an average weekday in 2015.
- Madan said,“We are doubling the railways transporting capacity in the city.”
- “It is going in areas which are hitherto not connected to public transport,” he added.
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