With rapid expansion of metro rail projects in the country, Ministry of Urban Development has taken several far-reaching decisions to promote the "Make in India" campaign.
The Ministry of Urban Development gives the "Make in India" campaign a boost with the rapid expansion of metro rail projects. Some of the steps include stipulating mandatory conditions to be incorporated in the tender documents of metro companies for procurement of metro cars and related critical equipment and sub-systems, procuring signalling equipment that is only made in India, besides standardising technical parameters for rolling stock (metro coaches) and signalling equipment.
These initiatives will incentivise setting up of manufacturing facilities in the country by increasing the volumes of procurement of rolling stock and all kinds of equipment.This will in turn result in the reduction of cost through economies of scale.
The Ministry has stipulated the following mandatory conditions to be incorporated in the tender documents:
1. Minimum 75 per cent of the tendered quantity of metro cars shall be manufactured indigenously with progressive indigenisation of content, for which the contractor may either establish independent manufacturing facility in India or partner with Indian manufacturers if the procurement is more than 100 cars;
2. Maintenance to be made stress-free through easy availability of spares beyond the warranty period, inclusion of an identified list of critical equipment and sub-systems in the tender document for ensuring indigenous manufacturing of a minimum of 25 per cent of such equipment either by establishing a wholly-owned subsidiary in India by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) themselves or through Indian manufacturers;
3. The demand for metro cars across each state shall be clubbed to enable applicability of local procurement norms and
4. In-house expertise shall be developed on long-term basis enabling metro companies with large fleet to carry on maintenance internally.
A total number of 1,912 metro coaches are currently operational in the country with another 1,420 under procurement. Over the next three years, more than 1,600 metro cars would be required. Each metro coach is estimated to cost about Rs 10 crore.
The Ministry has finalised the long-pending standardisation of norms for rolling stock and signalling equipment, applicable to over 90 per cent of the present imports.
Further, to promote indigenous manufacturing, the Ministry has stipulated procurement of nine types of signalling equipment from within the country. Metro companies have also been directed to develop maximum possible local competence. Indian companies have to be associated with the production of a wide range of signalling and train control project equipment.
Indigenisation of several metro functions has also been prescribed. These relate to communication systems, management of operational disturbances, time table preparation, fault reporting, control traction power, maintenance, infrastructure supervision, rolling stock management, etc.
The new standardised norms prescribe that the rolling stock and related equipment and systems shall enable unattended train operations; driverless train operations; standard rail gauge of 1,435 mm; metro cars with body width of 2.90 m for passenger capacity of up to 45,000 peak hour peak distance (PHPD) capacity; body width of 3.20 m for capacity above 45,000 PHPD; only three car, six car or nine car rail combinations; operational speed of 80 kmph; minimum 67 per cent motorisation for all rolling stock etc. Norms have also been prescribed for acceleration rates, energy consumption, noise and vibration levels, collision standards, etc.
Further to these initiatives, the Ministry of Urban Development will soon evolve common eligible criteria for suppliers of rolling stock and other equipment. Rajiv Gauba, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development discussed the variations in the present eligibility criteria with the Managing Directors of metro companies. He directed that broadly uniform criteria in respect of net worth, financial and technical capacities and supply experience of rolling stock and other equipment, etc., should be evolved.
Presently, metros are operating in seven cities v Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Bengaluru and Chennai v with a total route length of 326 km. Metro projects with a total route length of 546 km are under construction in 11 cities and projects with a total route length of 903 km in 13 cities are under consideration.