Nearly five months after the Railway Board chairman mooted the idea of Indian Railways supplying coaches for Metro rail projects, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the urban affairs ministry to buy coaches from the Railways for Metro projects that will be rolled out without external assistance.
Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani in last October had written to housing and urban affairs ministry stating that the railways were keen to partner with the ministry to make the rolling stock (coaches) available for Metro trains. He had mooted setting up of a dedicated unit for Metro coaches manufacturing through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with urban affairs ministry’s partnership with commitment for 10-15 years.
Sources said the PMO at a meeting held last month had suggested the urban affairs ministry to expedite standardisation Metro signalling system and promote captive buying of coaches from the railways be rolled out without external financial assistance.
Till now only a few Metro rail projects such as the Noida-Greater Noida link have been taken up without external assistance. “In projects where we have got external financial assistance from agencies such as JICA or AFD, the bidding for rolling stock has to allow bidders from across the globe,” said a source.