Chandy to meet PM on Kochi Metro issue

UDF Government in Kerala has decided to put "political pressure" on the Centre and seek the intervention of PM to execute the Kochi Metro Rail project

Updated: Oct 31, 2012, 21:28 PM IST

Thiruvanathapuram: Congress-led UDF Government in Kerala has decided to put "political pressure" on the Centre and seek the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to execute the Rs 5,180 crore Kochi Metro Rail project by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
The decision comes in the wake of the Union Urban Ministry`s stand that DMRC could not take the project because the Corporation was tight with the work of Delhi Metro maintenance and other projects.

Talking to reporters after holding a discussion with `Metroman` E Sreedharan, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said during his next visit to Delhi on November 7 and 8, he would meet the Prime Minister and Union Urban Minister Kamal Nath on the Kochi Metro issue.

"We will also put political pressure on (the) Centre to carry out the project through DMRC," Chandy said.

Making it clear that Kerala wanted the project to be implemented by DMRC under the supervision of Sreedharan, Chandy said the state would enlist the support of union ministers and MPs from Kerala to realise it`s objective.

During his meeting with Kamal Nath last week, the latter pointed out certain technical problems associated with DMRC taking over the Kochi Metro project.

However, the state would continue to place its demand before the Centre. Sreedharan would also be present during the next meeting with the Prime Minister, he said.

The Kochi Metro rail project, for which the foundation stone was laid by the Prime Minister last month, had failed to start as DMRC had not taken up the project officially.

Earlier, DMRC had agreed to implement the project and had done some work in this connection. However, it later backtracked from the project by raising several reasons.

CPI-M led LDF Opposition has wanted the project to be implemented by DMRC maintaining any move to exclude DMRC and Sreedharan would lead to corruption.

Recently, the project also ran into controversy after former KMRC MD Tom Jose wrote a letter to the Urban Affairs Ministry seeking the role of Sreedharan in implementing the Kochi Metro project.

An embarrassed government had sought an explanation from the officer for writing such a letter without the consent of the government.