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Hyderabad Metro Rail awards signalling contract to Thales

Posted on Nov 16, 06:55PM | IANS

L and T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited has awarded the signalling and train control and communication system contracts to Thales, a global technology leader in the defence, aerospace and transportation markets.

The signalling and train control contract has been given to Thales Canada and Thales India, while the communication system contract has been awarded to Thales Portugal and Thales India.

Vivek B. Gadgil, chief executive and managing director of L and T Metro Rail, told reporters Friday that Hyderabad Metro Rail would be the first in India to run on Communication Based Train Control System (CBTC).

Siemens, Invensys and Bombardier were among the other bidders for these two major contracts.

He said they would be employing CBTC to enhance safety and increase the frequency of trains. The CBTC system has driverless technology inherent with SelTrac technology.

The trains are controlled from the central control centre and thus the driver is not dependent on the line side signals. Automatic brakes will be applied to the train in the event of the driver making any mistake.

Delhi Metro was built with conventional signally system and it was now finding it difficult and costly to switch over to CBTC, pointed out N.V.S. Reddy, managing director, Hyderabad Metro Rail.

He said with the help of the latest technology, Hyderabad Metro would be able to run one train in two minutes.

The project will be commissioned with each train comprising three passenger cars, which can carry about 1,000 people. Depending on the demand, the cars will be doubled to six.

Gadgil said the contracts for remaining three segments - automatic fare collection, elevators and escalators and equipment required for workshops - would be awarded by the end of December this year.

Gadgil expressed satisfaction over the progress of the work on the Rs.16,375-crore Metro rail project, described as the world's largest Metro project under public private partnership. He, however, said it has a tight timeline and the pace of the work needed to be accelerated.

The project on 72-km three high density corridors with 66 elevated Metro stations will be operational by July 2017. The trials will begin by the end of 2014 and commissioning of the first stage of the project is expected in 2015.

The project is being taken up in six stages. Gadgil said lot of physical works were on 10-km combining stage I (Nagole-Mettuguda) and stage II (Miyapur-S R Nagar) together. Piers completed on five km stretch. Viaduct erection on the piers will start soon. Construction of piers will also start soon on stage III.

Reddy said the minimum metro rail fare in 2014 would be Rs.8 and the maximum Rs.19. "Nobody need to have worry about this. It is frozen," he added.

The project includes Rs.14,132 crore for the metro rail system and Rs.2,243 crore for the real estate development. The company has so far spent Rs.850 crore on the works.

While the equity for the project will be Rs.3,439 crore, a consortium of banks will provide loans of Rs.11,478 crore and the government grant in the form of viability gap funding will be Rs.1,458 crore. Gadgil said the company would start drawing debt in two to three weeks.

L and T plans to execute Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) along the 72-km elevated corridors and depots. Gadgil said TOD would be taken up slowly. The company got a survey conducted on proposed TOD over 18.5 million square space, which shows there is a good potential for office space, multiplexes, shopping malls and retail.

Reddy said initially property development would be taken up on six million square feet and the development on the rest of the space would depend on the capability of Hyderabad to absorb it.