No bidders, MMRDA-owned corporation likely to operate Navi Mumbai Metro

Neeraj Tiwari
MMMOCL was set up only to operate the Metro rail network in Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Officials said the matter was being considered and the decision was not final yet.

THE NAVI Mumbai Metro operations and maintenance is likely to be taken over by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA)-owned Maha Mumbai Metro Operations Corporation Limited (MMMOCL) after no bidders responded to the tender for operating and maintaining the line.

MMMOCL was set up only to operate the Metro rail network in Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Officials said the matter was being considered and the decision was not final yet.

The Navi Mumbai Metro line connects Belapur-Pendhar and was flagged off on September 12 by then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. As the nodal agency for the 11-station project, the City and Industrial Development Corporation took over the construction cost of Rs 3,064 crore. “CIDCO had floated a tender, but even after several extensions no bidder has shown interest to operate and maintain the Metro line. The plan is now to give it to MMRDA-owned MMMOCL,” said an official. However, as MMMOCL has a manpower crunch and staff hiring is going on, it will take two to three months to take a final call in the matter, the official said.

A senior officer from MMRDA said, “The plan is in a very initial stage but CIDCO and MMMOCL are very positive about it. However, talks are still going on in what ratio revenue will be shared, as CIDCO had borne the cost of the project.”

CIDCO sources said it was “good to give the operation and maintenance to a firm which is government-owned and specially dedicated to operating Metro corridors, rather than giving a contract to a private company which will take more time and also cost more”.

Joint project director and spokesperson, MMRDA, Dilip Kavathkar said, “Talks with CIDCO are going on about taking over Navi Mumbai Metro operations, but the plan is in a very initial stage and as CIDCO had spent more than Rs 3,000 crores, we have to see how revenue will be shared.”