MMRDA to rope in foreign firm for Monorail safety audit
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As the construction of the first Monorail enters its final stages, the development authority implementing the project is in talks to invite the operator of Singapore's mass transit system to conduct a safety audit of the line due to unavailability of expertise in India.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has received positive responses from Singapore's SMRT Corp and Hong Kong's MRT Corp to conduct an independent safety audit of the 9-kilometre Chembur-Wadala line.
"Although a final decision is pending, the tender committee has made its recommendation. In all likelihood, we are going with the SMRT. Their bid was lower, but we are still negotiating with them," an MMRDA official said.
The MMRDA decided to approach foreign companies as there is no agency with experience on Monorail operations available in India, considering the Chembur-Wadala corridor would be the country's first Monorail route.
"For the Metro, the Commissioner of Railway Safety conducts a safety audit, but this is the first Monorail in India so there is no set system. We decided on the two names after conducting international enquiries," PRK Murthy, in charge of transport and communications at the MMRDA said.
"The contractor will also conduct a safety assessment before the independent safety audit. Louis Berger, the project consultants will also do some safety documentation," Murthy said.
Singapore's SMRT Corp is a multi-modal transport service provider and operates the country's mass rapid transit and light rail transit systems.
The company has also provided services for Monorail systems of several other countries. The company had also provided training on Metro operations and maintenance to DMRC staff.
Similarly, the MRT Corp, which was established by the Hong Kong government, operates Metro lines and a light rail transit system in Hong Kong.
The MMRDA had also approached Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC), but the organisation declined as it didn't have the required expertise.
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