MUMBAI (Metro Rail News): The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has commence a local vendor development policy to promote Indian companies to make spare parts for the Mumbai Monorail.
Due to lack of parts, Monorail operations in the city have been routinely affected. Recently, operations were suspended for a few days on account of non-availability of a key spare part called current collector shoes (CCS), which collects electricity from the third rail on the guide-way and gives power to the train. The CCS was being procured from a United Kingdom-based company, Faiveley Brecknell Willis. MMRDA will now be procuring the CCS from a Pune-based manufacturer.
“A key issue with the procurement of spare parts is that we are completely reliant on foreign companies. Even if the parts are to be repaired, we need to send them abroad. It was decided to identify a few companies who had the competence to develop these parts,” a senior MMRDA official said.
Under the local vendor policy, the vendor will bear the cost of development and manufacturing of the parts and in return, MMRDA will pay it once the parts are found to be satisfactory. Sources said MMRDA was in talks with other companies for the CCS and for other critical spare parts. “This does not mean we will not be procuring from global companies. For instance, we will be getting the next shipment of CCS from Faiveley Brecknell Willis by September,” an MMRDA official said.
MMRDA officials also said vendors globally had lost faith with the Monorail project largely because the previous operator, Scomi BHD Engg, had not paid its dues. “At present, they (vendors) start manufacturing only after receiving payment from MMRDA. This leads to delays. Moreover, since we have made more rakes functional after taking over the operations, the requirement of spares has increased,” a senior official said.
Ever since it took over operations in December 2018, MMRDA has repaired two rakes, and is running operations with five rakes. It is in the process of repairing two more and aims to have seven rakes running by September. “We have finalised tenders to procure 10 new monorail rakes, which will be finalised by September 15 and will be delivered in 21 months,” an MMRDA spokesperson said.
Monorail operations were badly hit in July when the monthly ridership fell to 2.13 lakh from around 4 lakh in June. MMRDA officials said with their efforts to regularise the supply of spare parts, services should improve in future.