State expects 20 per cent aid for light metro

CM, PWD min to meet MoUD for funds

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and PWD Minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju will meet the Ministry of Urban Development to seek Central aid for light metro projects in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. The detailed project reports of both the projects have been forwarded to the MoUD for Central clearance. The state is expecting 20 percent of the total project cost from the Centre.

The future of the projects is looking bleak as the government has decided to go ahead with the projects only after ensuring funding from the Centre. Sources say that getting approval from the centre is going to be a lengthy and painstaking task. “It took nearly 5 years to get the Centre’s approval for the Kochi Metro project. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC) is not associated with the project as the government is still in a dilemma on whether to sign the agreement with it or not,” said the source.

“The CM and the PWD minister will meet Venkaiah Naidu very soon. Only if the government puts pressure, the centre would approve the light metro project,” the official added.

With uncertainty looming large over the project, the DMRC has decided to wind up operations in Thiruvananthapuram and retain its office at Kozhikode. “The DMRC held discussions with the MD of Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation Ltd (KRTCL). They have decided to retain their office at Kozhikode as the flyover work is progressing. But they are yet to communicate this officially to the government,” said the official.

Meanwhile, the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) for both Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram will be submitted by NATPAC very soon.

“The CMP would be submitted after conducting the stakeholders meeting. One more meeting at Thiruvananthapuram is pending,” said the official. Both the light metro projects are estimated to cost around Rs 6728 crores when completed.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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