New delhi : Bombardier Transportation, the world’s largest railway equipment supplier, is pitching for a bid to operate the proposed Metro line connecting the airport with the city’s central shopping area, Connaught Place.
The airport link project to be built on an build-operate-transfer basis may be constructed as a stand-alone network without any linkage with the existing Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) network, said a Bombardier official. This is because the 19km airport link being proposed is to be built on standard gauge whereas the DMRC network is broad gauge.
“Gauge is a rather contentious issue as of now and it will be debated in the days to come,” said Rajeev Jyoti, president and managing director of Bombardier Transportation India Ltd.
Jyoti said his company was willing to supply locomotives and coaches and operate the Metro regardless of the gauge. “The gauge is not decided by us,” he said, indicating that the ball was in the DMRC’s court.
According to Jyoti, it was expected that DMRC would carry out the civil works, while the private player would supply locomotives and coaches and run the trains. “We are looking at a concession period of at least 30 years in such projects,” he said.
A pre-bid conference for the airport-link project will be organized by DMRC in March, wherein bidders will be provided with more details on expected traffic on the line and the quality of works that is expected by the Delhi Metro.
The Berlin-based company, which earned $14.7 billion (Rs64,700 crore) in revenues last fiscal, plans to bag other Metro projects in the country and to set up a manufacturing base here. Bombardier has also tied up with Reliance Energy to submit an expression of interest for the Hyderabad Metro project and has also jumped in the fray for a similar project in Chandigarh.
It is also in discussions with a host of infrastructure companies such as GMR, DLF and IL&FS to partner with them in upcoming metro projects spread all over the country. As of now, the only privately-run Metro in the country is the Versova- Ghatkopar line, the bid for which was won by Reliance Energy last year.
The Metro construction and supplies industry in India is estimated to be worth at least Rs60,000 crore. Given the massive requirement for locomotives and coaches in the country, the company may also consider setting up a manufacturing base in India for exports. “We would require a demand guarantee from the Railways. But whether this can be done is not clear under the Public Private Partnership model,” he said.