Kochi: Metroman E. Sreedharan has blamed the state government for the sudden withdrawal of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation from the Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode light metro projects. “The projects made zero progress due to the lack of interest shown by the state government,” Mr Sreedharan, DMRC’s principal advisor, told reporters here on Thursday.
“The DMRC prepared the detailed project report for the projects on the request of the Kerala government in October 2014. When the new government was formed, it was decided that the DMRC will take up the preparatory works as a turnkey consultant while waiting for the in- principle approval by the union government.
However, though the draft agreement was submitted in December 2016, the government made no initiative to sign a pact even after 15 months," he said. Stating that the DMRC had been incurring Rs 16 lakh per month since 2016 for running its offices in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, Mr Sreedharan said the project offices will be closed down by March 15. He also hinted that the agency would not take up the project again even if the state government changes its mind.
"We won't ask for any compensation for the works or investment we have already made for the project. The DMRC did not ask for any fees for the preparation of the original DPRs nor for their subsequent revision to comply with the new metro policy," Mr Sreedharan, who will turn 86 this June, said. The state government has also not approved the revised DPRs submitted by the DMRC on November 23 last. What led to the sudden withdrawal of DMRC was the director board meeting of the Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation Ltd (KRTL), special purpose vehicle set up to execute the project, held in December 18. The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, discussed the possibility of floating a tender instead of directly nominating the DMRC.
"We issued a notice for withdrawal from the projects on January 24. Before that I sought an appointment three months ago to meet the chief minister to directly discuss the matter. But I'm yet to get an appointment," he said. Mr Sreedharan also hinted that the government was unhappy with the report submitted by the DMRC with regard to the government's flagship Thalasseri-Mysore project. "The project was unviable and would have catered to only one-third of the state's commuters. We cited it in our report submitted on March 31 last," he said.