Mumbai: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is exploring possibility of keeping maintenance and operating activities in-house. The authorities feel that it would be easier to manage things if all of it is managed internally for Mumbai Metro.
MMRDA that is constructing all metros in the city might not hire external contractors for operation and maintenance of metros. Usually all the public projects it handles like building roads, bridges and other works are handed over to local bodies post completion. But with metros MMRDA is looking to manage things in-house.
As per senior officials from MMRDA, they will be starting recruitment process to hire people to operate and maintain metros. They shared that the country has sufficient talent to operate metro rail networks. The external contractor too will hire people from outside. Instead of that MMRDA will hire and operate the Mumbai Metros.
Assuring best quality control
MMRDA feels that it will be able to offer better quality control if it takes care of operational aspect too. As per plan, the official shared that MMRDA will look into core activities which includes – signalling and tracks as well as maintenance of rolling stock. Whereas non-core activities like housekeeping will be given to contractors.
The decision to manage things in-house came with bitter sour experience with regards with dealing with operators of other commissioned projects. This comprises of Monorail and Metro Line 1.
It is in regular discussions with Mumbai Metro One Private Limited on a variety of topics. One of the topics is increasing the number of coaches given the popularity, and ticket prices. The authority is also facing snags in appointing a new contractor to manage and maintain the Monorail.
A senior official shared that MMRDA is building several metro lines and it is time consuming to identify right operator and then keep a track of their work. It is best to manage things in-house which will ensure best services to commuters.
MMRDA is at present working to execute work on four Metro lines in the city. Of these, lines 2A and 7 are under different stages of construction and are likely to be concluded by 2019. Whilst initial soil testing has started for lines 2B and 4, full-fledged construction is scheduled to begin only after the monsoon. The MMRDA will also invite tenders for Line 7’s extension from Dahisar to Mira-Bhayandar in the coming month.