After two failed attempts in the last three years, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) finally inked a contract for procurement of coaches for the East-West Metro corridor in June this year.

But, to the benefit of KMRC, coaches are now available at nearly half the price, for approximately Rs 7 crore each, than was originally estimated.

Lower cost

As against its original plan to procure 11 trains (of six coaches each) at approximately Rs 866 crore, KMRC will now buy 14 trains from the CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles) - MELCO consortium.

This is for a total consideration of approximately Rs 600 crore.

CAF consortium won the contract against competing bids from the ROTEM-Toyo Denki joint venture also and a consortium of Kawasaki-Toshiba-Mitshubishi.

“There has been technological advancement (in the wagon making sector).

“Plus, competition has increased substantially,” Dr Subrata Gupta, Managing Director, KMRC, told Business Line .

Salt Lake-Howrah

The East-West Metro lines, a Rs 5,000-crore project, would connect the IT township of Salt Lake to Kolkata’s twin city Howrah, located across the River Hooghly.

The 15-km stretch will be made operational in two phases. The first phase (a nearly 9-km stretch) will be operational in March 2015. The second phase (of 6 km) would be operational a year later.

“We also have an arrangement by which we can procure an additional three rakes (of six cars each) from CAF in case the need arises,” he added.

Aborted attempts

Earlier, KMRC floated tenders for rakes in 2009 and 2010. In both the cases, responses were poor.

During 2009, there was only one bidder, Kawasaki, and its rates were nearly double that of the existing ones.

Similarly, in 2010 a consortium of ROTEM-BEML (that had won the bids for the Bangalore metro) line had bid for rolling stock.

That bid too fell through on technical grounds.