Though civil work for Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) have been completed, the project is likely to be delayed further as the Punjab Mass-Transit Authority (PMA) has not re-floated the operation and maintenance services tender.
Earlier, PMA invited bids for operations and maintenance services of the country’s first metro train project in February. However, hardly any company, including the Chinese contractor CR-NORINCO, showed any interest due to the stringent terms.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, PMA General Manager Operations Uzair Shah said that the authority has cancelled the old tender. We are waiting for the minutes of the authority’s meeting, after which a fresh tender will be floated, he said.
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Before floating the previous tender, a pre-bid meeting was held in which representatives from perspective bidders, including China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), SINACO, LMKT, Daewoo Pakistan Express Service, Equinor, Platform Turizm, Crimson Engineering, Pak German Engineers and First Bus, participated in the meeting.
However, an official privy to these developments revealed that all the contractors were reluctant to enter into an 11-year contract with local payout terms due to the fluctuating price of the Pakistani rupee. He indicated that the authority has to review its term for awarding the operation and maintenance services contract.
Earlier, the authority intended to award the contract for a period of 11 years, which is extendable upon mutual consent. The authority has set stringent criteria for foreign and local companies which include a minimum of six years in business with valid tax registrations and tax returns for a minimum of three years.
Any successful bidder must possess a minimum of three years’ experience in operations of three metro lines of any type. Train operations must be carried out through centralised dispatching and supervision through a command and control centre under the mainline signalling system consisting of an automatic train control.
OLMT project to face further delay
In addition, the bidder must possess three years maintenance experience of each rolling stock and the entire track, five years of experience in high voltage substations (HVSS) and traction supply, two years of experience in Power SCADA and low voltage power supply and illuminations, five years of experience in ATC based train signalling system, two years of experience in radio based communication system, public wireless system, fibre optic system, fire alarm system, building automation system, clock system, passenger information system and public address system, CCTV surveillance, visual control panels for train operations, access control system, telephone system, audio video recording system and two years of experience in fire fighting system, HVAC system, escalators, elevators, platform screen doors / automatic passenger gates, water supply, sanitation and sewerage system.
Documents highlight that joint ventures are also eligible to participate as long as they comply with the terms. It shows that the operations and maintenance services of OLMT broadly encompass all electrical and mechanical works, including allied/interface works procured and commissioned under the main commercial / EPC contract, that is all hardware, all software and allied systems implemented by CR-NORINCO under their own scope of work.
The system hardware and associated software are further categorised under several key systems, including elevators, escalators, platform screen doors and automated platform gates, railway track, automated fare collection (AFC) system, rolling stock, signalling, power supply, telecom / communication, HVAC, firefighting and extinguishers. PMA intends to handover civil works and electrical and mechanical works (except AFC equipment) onwards to the service provider under the pretext of Initial System Assets (ISA).
The authority intends to make comprehensive operations and maintenance related procurements according to groups and service categories.
Except for the AFC system, the contractor will be responsible to operate and maintain the entire system; including all systems’ components and peripherals, reliably and securely at all times during service hours in the contract period on a daily basis, 7 days a week and 365 days per year at all stations, the depot and the stabling yard.
In addition, the contractor will carry out housekeeping and janitorial services at all stations except the passenger areas, the depot and the stabling yard during service hours in the contract period on a daily basis 7 days a week and 365 days per year as well as promptly analyse defects to establish if such faults fall under the category of defect liability.
Civil works of the OLMT project have been completed. Currently, Chinese contractors are busy testing. Officials working the project believe that the project would likely take off by November if PMA is able to find a suitable contractor for operation and maintenance.