Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor: RITES-SMEC JV to provide consultancy
Transport infrastructure consultancy and engineering company RITES Ltd and Australia-based consultancy firm SMEC International have signed a contract worth Rs 72 crore with Haryana Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation (HRIDC) for providing general consultancy services (GCS) for the planned Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor (HORC).
The scope of work includes consultancy services for the successful planning, basic and detailed designs, preparation of specifications, preparation of proposal documents and tender assistance, checking designs, project management and supervision, including construction supervision, safety, quality and environmental management, interface management, testing and commissioning of the HORC.
The corridor's total length is 121.7 km, connecting Palwal to Sonipat via Sohna, Manesar, and Kharkhoda in Haryana. The HORC is an electrified broad gauge double railway line for passenger and freight traffic.
The government approved the project in September 2020 at an estimated cost of Rs 5,617 crore. It is being funded by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and HRIDC, the joint venture of the Ministry of Railways and the Haryana Government, as the implementing agency. The corridor is expected to be completed in five years.
Trains will operate on this corridor at a top speed of 160 km per hour, facilitating faster movement of goods between ports and areas around Delhi. Once completed, the corridor will provide seamless connectivity to Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) at Prithla station to Palwal, Patli, Sultanpur, Asaudha and Harsana Kalan stations.
In February 2021, the RITES-SMEC consortium emerged as the lowest bidder for the HORC contract, quoting Rs 60.98 crore for the project.