FEBRUARY 23 was due to see the submission of bids to supply rolling stock for the initial two lines of the Delhi metro network. This will be followed on March 9 by the bids for the signalling & telecommunications contract, with tenders for electrification & power supplies due on March 21. The only systems contract not yet tendered is for fare collection, although prequalification for a smart card based solution is already under way.

Delhi Metro Rail Corp Managing Director E Sreedharan told Railway Gazette on February 3 that all civil engineering contracts for the first 8·5 km of elevated line had been awarded, and that work was around 20% complete. Tenders for the remaining 6 km section were invited at the end of January. Bidding is also under way for the two civil contracts covering the underground line; these were submitted on February 7 and 21, and the winning bidders are expected to be announced by May.

Sreedharan says the underground route will have ’a closed system of air-conditioning and ventilation’, with the stations and trains air-conditioned and the tunnels ventilated. Completion of the 55·3 km initial network, costed at Rs48·6bn in 1996 prices, is envisaged in March 2005, although the first 8·5 km is to be commissioned by May 2002. n