Date of Post : 19 June, 2017
Kozhikode: After the successful launch of Kochi Metro Rail, the state government will convene a director board meeting of the Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation to sort out issues related to the Thiruvananthapuram & Kozhikode Light Metro projects.
Determined to obtain the long-pending clearance from the Centre for the 2 infrastructure projects, the state on Saturday approached PM Narendra Modi seeking clearance.
* However, the state has to take the first step before putting pressure on the Centre, sources said.
* Referring to the light metro project in the state capital, sources said,“The state has to carry out the ground work for the Rs 4,219 crore (approx US$ 659.22 Million) project. Already, the budget has provisions for construction of overbridges and approach roads. Only if the Centre feels the state is serious in its approach, the final nod will come.”
* Even then, it would take at least 3 years before one can take a ride on a light metro.
* As regards the Thiruvananthapuram project, the tender for flyovers & rolling stock (wagons) could have been over by now for the project approved in 2014.
* The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the interim consultant for the project, is still demarcating land to be acquired for the flyovers at Sreekaryam, Ulloor & Pattom along the NH 66.
* Once demarcated, the land will be acquired by the Revenue Department.
* To hasten the process, a meeting was convened by the PWD Minister in January.
* A special team was formed consisting of officials from the Revenue Department & the DMRC.
* It is learnt the team has wound up their work and has since been redeployed.
* With the work going slow, Sreedharan met the Chief Minister on May 16 to sort out bottlenecks.
* A DMRC officer said,“The Chief Minister and other ministers are positive about the project. Some how, the enthusiasm is not trickling down to the officers’ level.”
* The state & the Centre are contributing 20% each to the project, with the rest coming from international funding agencies.
* The DMRC officer said,“Had the state started its investment, it would have made a difference to the approach of the Central government. This comes mainly in the form of land acquisition.”
* The project technical committee, which met in May, has recommended the extension of a proposed flyover from Pattom – Plamoodu.
* The Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation Ltd (KRTL) is a special purpose vehicle set up to execute the project.