Kozhikode Monorail

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Kozhikode Monorail
കോഴിക്കോട് മോണോറെയില്‍
Locale Kozhikode, Kerala, India
Transit type Straddle-beam monorail
Number of lines 1
Number of stations 15
Daily ridership 148,000 (2015-16 estimate)
Chief executive Harikesh[1]
Operator(s) Kerala Mono Rail Corporation Ltd. (KMCL)
Train length 3 coaches
System length 14.20 km
Average speed 33 km/h

The Kozhikode Monorail is a monorail system planned for the city of Kozhikode, India.


Kozhikode experiences heavy traffic congestion as most of the roads in the city are very narrow. Due to the high cost of land and the extreme reluctance of the public to part with their property, widening of roads to accommodate mass transit systems is difficult. The government determined that the city was not large enough to sustain a rail based metro system.[2] Kozhikode was listed by the Centre among the tier-II cities eligible for metro rail. However, the State Government opted for the monorail.[3][4]

The Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB), a statutory body under the state Public Works Department (PWD), engaged Wilbur Smith Associates, Bengaluru, to prepare a detailed feasibility study for a mass transit system for Kozhikode. Wilbur Smith submitted the feasibility report in December 2010 recommending a monorail system for the city, from Meenchanda to Ramanattukara with a distance of 23 km. The report recommended construction of the 13 km stretch from Medical College to Meenchanda in the first phase. The KRFB then entrusted the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the first phase of the monorail project in March 2012. The DMRC submitted the DPR on 19 June 2012, after incorporating certain modifications, to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at his office along with the replica of the coach.[5][6] The Government of Kerala approved the DPR and accorded administrative sanction for the project, as per order No. GO (Ms) 72/2012/PWD dated 9 October 2012, at a cost of INR 19.91 billion (approx. US$356 million).[2]

The State Cabinet decided to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to implement monorail projects in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, and administrative sanction was given in October 2012.[7] The state government issued orders entrusting the Thiruvananthapuram Monorail project to the KMCL on 26 November 2012. The government had handed over the Kozhikode Monorail project to the KMCL prior to that.[8] On 12 June 2013, the State Cabinet gave clearance for an agreement to be signed between KMCL and DMRC, that would make the latter the general consultant for the monorail projects in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. DMRC will be responsible for the design, preparation of the bid document, shortlisting, and selection of contractors, supervision, and quality certification.[9] The DMRC will receive 3.25% of the INR 55.81 billion (INR 35.90 billion for Thiruvananthapuram and INR 19.91 billion for Kozhikode) as consultancy fee for the projects.[10] The agreement was signed on 19 June 2013.[11] It was a single agreement for both projects as the general consultant (DMRC) and the executing agency (KMCL) were the same.[12][13]

Global tenders were floated for the Kozhikode Monorail, along with the Thiruvananthapuram Monorail, by treating the two projects as one as only a 36.4 km stretch would be covered in the first phase in both the cities.[14] The successful bidder had to be a consortium, which would have to supply rolling stock, do civil works, operation and maintenance and electric and electronic services for the monorail.[15] The monorail will be awarded to a single contractor who will be responsible for all the aspects like civil construction, providing rakes, electrical cabling, signaling as well as operation and maintenance.[16] Tenders for the technical bids for the project were originally scheduled to be submitted on 1 October 2013, but it was postponed to 15 October following requests from the participants.[14] However, a consortium led by Bombardier Transportation was the only firm that came forward with the expression of interest (EOI) when the extended deadline for submission ended on 15 October. Apart from Bombardier pre-bid queries had been made by Japanese firm Hitachi, Malaysian firm Scomi,[15] and firms specialising in MRTS from the United Kingdom, South Korea and China.[17] Hitachi was expected to be the front-runner in the two projects, as it was supposed to get funding from JICA. According to a top PWD official, Hitachi and Scomi had expressed interest during the pre-bid stages. However, Hitachi was denied funding by the JICA due to doubts about the Kerala government's ability to repay the debt. JICA was also concerned by its experience on a water supply drinking scheme in the stat. The Meenad-Pattuvam-Calicut drinking water scheme was delayed by over two-and-a-half years.[18] Public works minister VK Ebrahim Kunju announced in a news release on 22 October 2013, that the government would go for re-tendering as only a single bidder had expressed interest in the project. The re-tendering was recommended by a high-level committee of the DMRC.[19]

The DMRC suggested the exclusion of two major clauses in the tender. One of the clauses required suppliers of the rolling stock to find 70% funding for the project, and the other clause mandated that only rolling stock manufacturers could attend the tender. Kunju stated that these clauses had been excluded and companies could now form consortiums with rolling stock manufacturers and participate in the bid. The DMRC also suggested reducing the tender formalities from three stages to two to save time. The three-step tender proceedings, which included expression of interest, technical bid and financial bid. The original tender permitted only those who qualified the global expression of interest to attend the technical and financial bids, while the re-tender contained only technical and financial bids.[20] The supplier's credit norm was also removed following a directive of the Urban Affairs Ministry, thereby avoiding the clause that the company coming forward should mobilise funds for the project, which paved the way for domestic burrowing.[17] Some relaxations were also made on other clauses, such as the technical specifications to attract more companies.[15] The last date of submission of bids for the tender for the multi-crore project was 18 February 2014, however, this was extended to 31 March by the DMRC. According to PWD officials, the delay was because the finance department was not keen on the monorail project, and was reluctant to even allot the amount required to run the office of the KMCL. The department also reportedly allocated the periodic consultancy fee for the DMRC, only after repeated requests and clarifications.[21] The qualified bids will be subsequently forwarded to the State government for evaluation.[22]

The DMRC submitted the revised DPR for the monorail projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode to the KMCL in January 2014. The revised DPR promised 8% financial internal rate of returns (FIRR) as stipulated by planning commission. The Centre and state governments were expected to contribute 20% each of the project cost as equity participation, while the balance fund was to be raised as loan as per the earlier DPR. However, as per the latest planning commission norm, the Centre can provide equity participation only in those projects which assure at least 8% FIRR, whereas the earlier DPR for the monorail projects promised only 3% FIRR. The Times of India quoted a PWD official as saying, "The scaling up of FIRR has been achieved by weaving in some more commercial projects which would add to the non-traffic revenues from the projects. We would need some more land to execute those projects."[16] The revised DPR also added new chapters, including disaster management and financial viability.[23][24] The last date for submission of the global tenders was extended again to 15 April,[23][25] because companies interested in the bid demanded more time to study the financial aspects, design, etc.

Bombardier Transportation, Hitachi, Afcons, Scomi, and Larsen and Toubro expressed interest in the project after tender norms were revised by the DMRC. A pre-bid meeting was held in New Delhi on 20 February 2014.[25] SBI Capital Market, the financial consultants of the project, carried out the financial appraisal of the project, and submitted their report in March 2014.[23][24] Despite the model code of conduct for the 2014 general elections being in force, the state government issued a directive forcing the PWD to cancel all tenders floated after 4 March, after the government came to know that tenders were being floated by the PWD even though the code of conduct was in force. The PWD was also told to invite new tenders and bids only after 10 April (the polling day), after seeking approval of the government. This directive delayed work on the Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram monorail projects.[26]


The project covers a distance of 14.2 km with 15 stations, from Medical College Hostel to Meenchanda.[22] The route is along Calicut – Mavoor Road till Mavoor Road junction. It then turns left, towards Meenchanda, along NH 766 and NH 66. At the site of the flyover on Mavoor Road, the alignment shifts to the right and passes along the service road to avoid the flyover. Similarly, to avoid the proposed road over bridge near the Panniyankara Railway Over bridge junction, the alignment passes to the extreme left of the proposed flyover. The monorail line crosses Kallai river, passing to the left over a new bridge consisting of 3x30.5-metre spans about 20-metre upstream of the existing road bridge. The car depot is located about 500 metres east of the Medical College Hostel station on 5.20 hectares of vacant land owned by the government.[2]

The entire alignment of the monorail is elevated, carried on single pillars generally along the median of the road. Each pillar will take up around 2m on the median.[2][4] The monorail project will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will be from Medical College to Mananchira and the second phase from Mananchira to Meenchantha.[22] Approximately 10.65 hectares of land will be required for the project,[4] of which 80% is government owned land.[6]

The State Government had earlier considered various other alignments for the project, such as the Medical College-Meenchanda-Karipur Airport and Elathur-Beypore-Ramanattukara routes.[4][27]

Phase Terminals Length (km) Stations Opening date
Phase I Medical College Mananchira
Phase II Mananchira Meenchanda
Total Medical College Meenchanda 14.20 15

Kozhikode Monorail.png


Kozhikode monorail has a total of 15 stations.[28]

# Station Name Opening Connections
1 Medical College Hostel None
2 Medical College None
3 Chevayur None
4 Thondayad None
5 Kottuli None
6 New Bus Stand Private inter-city buses
8 Mananchira None
9 Palayam Private intra-city buses
10 Railway Station Indian Railways
11 Pushpa None
15 Kallayi None
13 Panniyankara None
14 Vattakkinar None
15 Meenchanda None

Future expansion[edit]

The government is also planning to extend the monorail to Civil Station and West Hill. It would require INR600 crore (US$97 million) for the 6 km stretch connecting Malaparamba and Civil Station.[29]


The construction of a rail overbridge at Panniyankara was proposed on the route between Mananchira and Meenchantha, as part of the monorail work.[4] The total cost of the project will be INR331 million (US$5.4 million). Construction is expected to start in December 2013, and be completed within 18 months.[22]


The cost of civil structures has been estimated based on Kerala State PWD schedule of rates (revised 2010) which came into effect from 1 April 2011. The total cost of the project based on April 2012 price level works out to INR15650 million (US$250 million) excluding taxes of INR2670 million (US$43 million). The completion cost of this project in 2015 comes to Rs. INR19.91 billion (US$320 million) with central taxes.[2] It will be executed in Design, Build-Operate-Transfer (DBOT) mode.[30] The State and Union governments contributed 20% of the project cost each, and the rest was funded by private group. The DMRC, general consultant of the project, was paid 3% of the project cost as consultancy fee.[21]

In the 2012 State Budget, finance minister K. M. Mani, allotted INR20 crore (US$3.2 million) for the Kozhikode Monorail project.[31] On 26 October 2012, the State Government issued an order adding a surcharge of 5% on petrol and diesel sold in the state over the next 10 years to part finance the proposed Kochi Metro and monorail projects in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. The State Government earns approximately INR 50 billion annually from petrol and diesel sales in Kerala. Based on this figure, the surcharge is expected to earn the government an additional INR 2.50 billion annually.[32]

The operation and maintenance costs of the monorail are divided into three major parts - staff costs, maintenance cost which include expenditure towards upkeep and maintenance of the system and consumables, and energy costs.[2]


Civil structures[edit]

The track beams, for up and down tracks, are carried over circular pillars of about 1000 mm diameter located generally along the median of the road. The pier heads will have a minimum clearance of 5.50 metres above the road level. In certain locations, the track beams have to be carried on cantilever and at some locations the same are carried over portals. The track beams which are hollow in the centre portion and solid at the ends are to be cast with 3 dimension accuracy at a central casting Depot proposed to be located in the Car Depot yard itself and then carried by road trailers to the erection sites and lifted by heavy duty cranes. Then they are to be stitched together and pre-stressed over 5 spans to make one continuous girder. At the expansion joints,special "tongue and grove" type steel metallic bearings are used.For evacuation of passengers in the event of the monorail car becoming immobile, a pathway has been proposed between and below the track beams. Generally hard rock is met within 20 to 25 metres from ground level and Mono piles may be considered for the foundations thus eliminating pile caps. For special spans and for the Kallai River crossing the foundations will be on pile groups.

The minimum distance between track beam centres has been kept as 3.80-metre. On curves, distance has been increased based on the additional clearances needed for mid throw and end throw as well as for super elevation. The maximum distance between the track beams on a curve of radius of 50 m has been found to be 4.4 m. The minimum radius adopted for the track alignment is 50 m and maximum gradient for the vertical alignment is 6%.[2]

Rolling stock[edit]

The car body shall be in aluminium so as to reduce the tare weight. The coaches will be fully air-conditioned with 2 doors on each side and with wide vestibules. Trains will be driverless but provision will be kept for manual operation as well. Each train will be made up of 3 coaches on the formation - leading car / intermediate car / leading car. The length, width, and height of the leading cars will be up to 16m, up to 3.15m and up to 4.05 m respectively; while the intermediate car will have the same width and height, but a slightly shorter length of up to 15.[2]

Signaling and communications[edit]

The communication based train control (CBTC) system, generally conforming to IEE 1474 and ATS (Automatic Train Supervision), is proposed to be adopted for designed headway of 100 seconds. Provision for automatic train operation as well as driverless train operation has been kept. There will be mobile radio communication between the trains and operation control centre (OCC).[2]


Traction current is to be carried through rails of suitable cross section fixed on both sides of the track beams. The traction voltage will be 750 V. D.C (+ 375V and –375V). Two receiving sub stations are proposed one in the car depot and the other in the Government College ground near Meenchanda station. They will be of 2 x115 MVA capacities each. Traction sub stations are proposed at 4 stations - Medical College Hostel, Kottuli, Palayam and Panniyankara - each having a capacity of 2 x 1.5 MVA . Each station will be provided with an independent Auxiliary Sub Station (ASS) to meet the power requirements of lighting, ventilation, air conditioning, for operation of lifts and escalators etc. Stand by diesel generating sets of 100 KVA to 125 KVA capacities will also be installed as a standby arrangement to cater for emergency requirements. Total power estimated for the corridor is 12 MVA in the year 2041.[2]


The car depot is located over a 5.2 hectare land belonging to the Calicut Medical College, about 500 m east of the Medical College Hostel station. The depot will have facilities for stabling the trains overnight, inspection facilities and workshop facilities. The Operation Control Centre (OCC) will be located in the depot.[2]


Two types of stations are proposed for the project - Type A and Type B. In Type A all the facilities and technical rooms are housed outside the right of way and only platforms are provided over the road supported by pillars located on the median of the road. Type B stations are 2 level stations located over the road itself, with a mezzanine floor which houses the passenger facilities and technical rooms and the platforms provided above the mezzanine level. The access to the station is provided from outside the right of way. All platforms will have screen doors. All stations will have elevators for old and physically challenged persons. Escalators have been provided only at 3 stations - Medical College, Mananchira and Railway Station,but provision has been kept for installing escalators at all other stations in the future. All stations will have fire detection and firefighting arrangements as prescribed in the National Building Codes.

There will be passenger announcement system, passenger information display system, centralized clock system and closed circuit television (CCTV) at all stations.[2]



A computer based automatic fare collection system is proposed to be used as the ticketing system for the monorail. The system will be capable of issuing single/multiple journey tickets, amenable for quick fare changes and require overall lesser manpower. For multiple journey, the Store Value Smart Card shall be utilized and for the single journey, the media shall be contactless smart token. The AFC equipment shall be provided at each station at convenient locations and will be connected to a local area network with a computer in the Station Master's room.[2]

Frequency and capacity[edit]

The passenger carrying capacity of a 3 coach train will be in the range of 400 to 525 assuming 6 persons per square meter of standee area, and in the range of 500 to 675 assuming 8 persons per square meter of standee area.[2]

The initial headway will be 6.75 minutes, with the provision to reduce it up two minutes during peak hours, to meet the requirement of increased passenger volumes.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mono rail project: Kerala approves Articles of association | Business Line
  3. ^ "PWD prepares project report for Kozhikode monorail project - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Monorail project to get on track in February, 2014 - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  5. ^ "Survey to widen road for monorail pillars begins - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  6. ^ a b "Cabinet approves detailed project report of Kozhikode monorail project - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  7. ^ "Cabinet approves detailed project report of Kozhikode monorail project". The Times of India. TNN. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  8. ^ S. Anil Radhakrishnan (27 November 2012). "Monorail project on track soon". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Nod for pact with DMRC for monorail". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 13 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (15 June 2013). "Agreement with DMRC to be signed on June 19". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  11. ^ Kerala Monorail, Delhi Metro ink consultancy agreement | Business Line
  12. ^ "KMRC signs contract with DMRC for mono rail projct". The Times of India. 19 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Consultancy pact for Kerala monorails to be inked today | Business Line
  14. ^ a b Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (17 October 2013). "Global tenders again for Trivandrum, Kozhikode monorail". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  15. ^ a b c "DMRC may go for another tender to select entities for monorail project - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  16. ^ a b "DMRC submits revised DPR for monorail projects - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  17. ^ a b Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (23 October 2013). "Tender norms revised for Trivandrum, Kozhikode monorail projects". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  18. ^ Kerala state’s financial mess had Hitachi pull out | Deccan Chronicle
  19. ^ 'Government will go for re-tendering' - The New Indian Express
  20. ^ "DMRC to exclude supplier's credit clause after EoI fiasco - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  21. ^ a b "Tender deadline for monorail project extended - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  22. ^ a b c d "Work on Kozhikode monorail to begin in February: Sreedharan". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 13 October 2013. 
  23. ^ a b c Paperwork Stage, Still - The New Indian Express
  24. ^ a b "DMRC extends date for monorail tender - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  25. ^ a b Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (6 February 2014). "Monorail DPR for Trivandrum and Kozhikode to be submitted for nod". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  26. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (4 April 2014). "PWD works on the slow lane". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  27. ^ Monorail: Sreedharan set to study project for Kozhikode | Business Line
  28. ^ "Monorail project: Selection of station sites draws flak - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  29. ^ "Sreedharan to head monorail project - The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  30. ^ UK, Singapore firms express interest in Monorail, SRIP
  31. ^ Manorama Online | FM allocates more funds for Metro, Monorail projects
  32. ^ Kerala citizens to pay for their metro

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