Kochi: Altering its earlier stance, the Union government has expressed willingness to provide funds for the phase-1B extension of Kochi Metro from Petta to Tripunithura.
During a board meeting of the Kochi Metro Rail Limited held in New Delhi on Friday, the Union urban affairs and housing ministry asked KMRL to submit the project report to provide the assistance. Like the Aluva – Petta stretch, the Union government will pump in 15 per cent of the total project cost. The board meeting was chaired by Durga Shanker Mishra, Housing and Urban Affairs secretary.
"It’s a positive gesture from the Union government. During the board meeting, we have received the message that the government will soon take a favourable decision in this regard. The board also gave permission to seek financial aid of Rs 1,330 crore from national or international agencies for the Tripunithura extension. With clarity on funding sources, the uncertainty that prevailed over the Tripunithura extension has been cleared," said KMRL managing director Muhammad Hanish.
The KMRL is planning to approach international funding agencies like KfW (Germany), AFD (France) and JICA (Japan) for financial aid. After completion of Maharaja’s-to-Petta stretch, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will exit the project, and the KMRL will directly execute the phase-I B extension.
"For the phase II from Jawaharlal Nehru stadium to Infopark line, AFD has already offered an aid of Rs 1,500 crore," he said.
The Maharaja’s – Thykoodam stretch will be opened for traffic by June next year, while the Thykoodam–Petta stretch will be completed by December 2019.
"Foundation stone for the two-km-long Petta –SN junction line will be laid this December after completing the tender procedures. The Detailed Project Report for the one-km line from SN Junction to Tripunithura railway station was submitted to the government in July," said the KMRL chief.
An agency has been entrusted with preparation of the DPR for phase III Aluva–Angamaly via CIAL.
Regarding the damage caused by floods, Mr Hanish said that as per the initial assessment, KMRL suffered a loss of Rs 230 crore. "As part of facing such natural calamities, the operation control room at Muttom yard will be shifted to the second floor of the building. Plans are afoot to set up one more OCC. More than 90 per cent of repairing of damaged machinery is progressing and functioning of the yard will be back to normal by September 20," he added.
Meanwhile, the KMRL’s proposed Metro city project at Kakkanad has got an impetus with the revenue department handing over the 17.46 acres of land to the Metro agency.