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Samsung bags fare collection contract for Hyderabad Metro

Hyderabad, Feb 18 (IANS) L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited (LTMRHL) has awarded the automatic fare collection (AFC) system to Samsung Data Systems India Pvt. Limited.

The value of the contract ranges from Rs.180 crore to Rs.220 crore, Vivek B. Gadgil, chief executive and managing director of LTMRHL, told reporters here Monday. The exact value would be worked out after the company completes designing of the Metro stations.

Samsung Data Systems India, a subsidiary of Samsung SDS, Korea, would design, manufacture, supply, install and commission the AFC system.

Jae Hyung Yeom, director sales, Samsung SDS, said they were committed to bring world-class AFC technology to Hyderabad. The company has implemented similar projects in Beijing, Daejon, Delhi, Bangalore and Jaipur.

The system will be based on contactless smart card technology. A passenger can use the same smart card for various modes of transport like train, bus, aeroplane, parking, shopping at metro stations, filling at petrol bunks and other services.

Payment can be made through cash or debit/credit card and one can top-up or add value in smart cards through different modes like website, bank auto-top, ATM and mobile banking.

The near field communication technology used in the system would enable the passengers to use their mobile phones as fare media.

"This will be in addition to automation gates and high performance vending machines. All these are to avoid long queues at the stations," said N.V.S. Reddy, MD, Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR).

He said the integrated smart card will have 16 fields, which would enable the passengers to use the same card for various purposes.

"Since Hyderabad is the first city to come up with this idea, we are discussing with the central ministry of urban development and they are willing to fund it under JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission). It will be a clearing housing concept where any number of business organisations can join the system," he said.

"As the central government is ultimately aiming at one card for entire nation, whichever city takes advantage can become the platform. We want to compete for this," he added.

Stating that they plan to make Hyderabad Metro more than just a mass transit system by redesigning the city, making it eco-friendly and providing more facilities to pedestrians, Reddy said they were looking to bring more investment and funding for the project from various agencies of the central government.

This will be in addition to Rs.1,458 crore which the central government is providing under Viability Gap Funding for Rs.14,132 crore Metro Rail project, said to be the biggest in the world under Public Private Partnership (PPP).

L&T has achieved financial closure for about Rs.16,000 crore - Rs.12,674 crore for the Metro Rail and another Rs.2,200 crore to develop six million square feet real estate at Metro stations under the first phase.

In addition, the state government is spending Rs.2,000 crore for land acquisition, relief and rehabilitation and shifting of utilities.

Gadgil said with AFC contract, they had completed awarding of all major contracts for railway system. The value of all contracts including rolling stock, signaling and communications, construction of depots and other civil works is about Rs.11,000 crore.

He said the company had started debt draw. As a first tranche, it drew Rs.500 crore. A consortium of 10 banks is providing debt of Rs.11,478 crore for the project.

The project on 72-km three high density corridors with 66 elevated Metro stations is expected to be fully operational by July 2017.

Quiz: How well do you know India's economy?

Question 1

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