Bharat Electronics (Bel ) has entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU ) with Delhi Metro Rail (Dmrc ) to develop an indigenous communication-based train control system (i-CBTC).

This initiative is expected to help India’s journey towards self-reliance in rail and metro operations.

Being indigenously developed for the first time in the country, the i-CBTC will facilitate unmanned operations of metro and trains.

BEL said in a statement that the MoU is a ‘big leap forward in the field of metro and rail automation and will give a boost to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission of the Government of India .’

Under the guidance of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (Mohua ), Government of India, the project is being carried out by both entities.

Furthermore, the MoU is expected to leverage the complementary strengths and capabilities of BEL and DMRC.

In April last year, DMRC won a $1.15bn (Rs83.9bn) loan for Metro’s Phase 4 expansion plan from the Japanese Government’s bilateral cooperation agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The sanctioned loan was intended for the construction of Phase 4 corridors but not for adjusting DMRC’s operational losses.

DMRC is engaged in the construction and operation of a mass rapid transport system in the capital region of the country.

With 286 stations in Delhi and NCR, DMRC built a network of about 390km.

BEL is a Navratna Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DFSU) that was formed in 1954 to meet the strategic requirements of defence services in the country.

Its focuses on the development of solutions for railway and metro, space/satellite electronics, software as a service, network and cyber security, and others.