Kochi: In a major development, Aecom Consortium (a joint venture of Aecom India Pvt. Ltd., Urban Mass Transit Company Ltd., and Zebec Marine Consultants Service Pvt. Ltd.) has been appointed general consultant for the ₹819-crore Water Metro project, an integrated water transport system in the Greater Kochi region.
The work will be awarded to the consortium after clearance from German bank KfW, which is funding the project and also after the approval of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) director board, a press release from the KMRL said. The 78 vessels to be procured under the project over four years will link the city with surrounding islands, West Kochi, and other coastal regions, becoming a water-based feeder service for the Kochi metro.
The general consultant will be in charge of project management, planning, construction and supervision of routes, boats, jetties, navigation, operational control centre, and utilities such as automatic fare collection. It will also supervise activities such as dredging, construction of approach roads to jetties, and development of jetty premises, which include commercial retail and operation and upkeep of the project. It will review the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the New Delhi-based UMTC and suggest revisions and modifications.
Egis Consortium (Egis India Consulting Engineers Pvt. Ltd., Egis International) and Inros Lackner SE Consortium (Inros Lackner SE, GOPA, Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd., Fibroplast Marine Pvt. Ltd.) were the other consortiums that were in the fray to win the bid.
In the first stage, 15 bidders responded to the Expression of Interest, from which three consortiums were shortlisted after a technical evaluation. The three were asked to submit the Request for Proposal.
“With the general consultant coming on board, the water transport project is set to gather momentum, and we have geared ourselves up to ensure that the first lot of boats are in the water corridor by the last quarter of 2018,” said Elias George, Managing Director, KMRL
The total cost of the project is ₹747 crore, excluding ₹72 crore for land acquisition. German bank KfW will extend a financial assistance of €85 million (₹597 crore) as a long-term soft loan. Of this, ₹102 crore will be repaid by the State government.
The advent of the Water Metro will make Kochi the first Indian city where water transport is developed as a feeder service to the metro rail. The project envisages the development of 16 routes, connecting 38 jetties across 10 islands and spans a total route network of 76 km.
The project will see 78 fast, modern, fuel-efficient ferries plying to 18 major and 20 minor destinations.