New Delhi: Kerala Government has asked the
Delhi Metro to start preliminary and preparatory works for the
proposed Rs 3,048-crore Kochi Metro Rail project, which is
awaiting Centre`s nod.
The project, which will be the first of its kind in
the southern state if approved, was sent to the Centre nearly
three years ago and is pending with the Planning Commission.
Kerala wants the MRTS project to be implemented on the
Delhi Metro model -- where the state and the central
governments shared the project cost-- and to use the expertise
of DMRC chief E Sreedharan, who hails from the state.
Reports had earlier suggested that the Centre wants
the project to be implemented under the Public-Private-
Partnership mode, but the Kerala Government is against it.
However, there is no official word on this.
Asking the DMRC to begin preliminary and preparatory
works for the project, the Kerala Government has sanctioned
Rs159 crore to the DMRC for this purpose.
The preparatory works will begin with widening of
approaches to roads, building of approaches of road over
bridges etc on deposit terms on similar lines as the work
being executed by DMRC for Jaipur Metro, DMRC spokesman Anuj
The DMRC has been a catalyst for Metro expansion in
India with Metros in various stages of execution and planning
in Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahemdabad, Lucknow,
Ludhiana, Pune, Hyderabad and Jaipur.
The two roads that would be widened into four lanes in
Kochi are Banerjee Road and the approach road to the Ernakulam
Junction railway station.
An overbridge is likely to be built near the Kerala
State Road Transport Corporation bus terminus, linking
Mullassery Canal with the Salim Rajan Road.
The Kochi Metro Rail Project has been a political
issue in poll-bound Kerala with the ruling Left Democratic
Front accusing the Congress-led UPA at the Centre of not
clearing the project.
However, Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy had
assured Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan in June that
he would take steps to place the project before the Cabinet
Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and get its nod.
But, there has been no forward movement.
The Kochi metro project was included by the UPA in its