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Reliance Infra, Veolia extends partnership to bid upcoming metro rail projects in India

Mumbai: Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) is looking to take its partnership with French company Veolia Transport, part of the Veolia Environment Group, to bid for metro rail projects in various Indian cities. Veolia operates in four continents covering 28 countries and has 37,000 buses, tramways, metros, suburban and long-distance trains and ferry boats.

“Here in Mumbai, it is originally a five year contract after which we will extend it on mutual consent. We are very happy with them (Veolia Transport). In fact we are thinking to have a joint venture with them and go and bid for other metro contracts,” told RInfra’s chief executive officer Lalit Jalan to Media.

Through a separate joint venture, RInfra and Veolia Transport will undertake operations and maintenance of the project for an initial period of five years. As per the finer details of the agreement, the contract ends on 7 June 2019, which is five years from the metro line’s commissioning date (June 8, 2014).

In Mumbai, RInfra and Veolia Transport have a joint venture for Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), wherein they are operating and maintaining 11.4-km long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar. RInfra holds 69% of the equity share capital of MMOPL, while Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) holds 26% and remaining 5% is held by Veolia Transport-RATP Asia of France.

In the recent past, development authorities from Chennai have called RInfra to participate in the Chennai metro-bidding process. The company is also looking to operate and maintain troubled Mumbai Monorail, the only monorail in India, between Jacob Circle-Wadala-Chembur. Bidding process is under way to appoint an operator for the only monorail line of the country.

“With the entire monorail route likely to be operational from October onwards and ridership picking up drastically due to the monorail corridor alignment, the route will be sought after by the operators,” said government sources.

Due to financial crunch the company has changed its business strategy and will go for only those metro rail contracts that are being offered on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis. “In order to run such operations, the government recently said that it wants world class operators. We will have EPC and operation and maintenance businesses where we will provide our role and services,” added Jalan.

The cities where metro routes are planned includes Mumbai, Pune, Varanasi, Agra, Patna, Meerut, Guwahati, Visakhapatnam, Surat, Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior.

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