Light Metro in TVM, Kozhikode may be shelved
Thiruvananthapuram: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has withdrawn from the proposed Light Metro project in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode cities. DMRC chief advisor E. Sreedharan had given a letter with regard to this to the government on February 28. But the government has not replied yet.
DMRC officials said that E. Sreedharan withdrew from the project expressing his disappointment on the indifference of the government in the project. With this, the possibilities for projects to strengthen the modern public transportation systems in major cities of the state diminished. In total, Rs 7,746 crore worth projects are likely to be stalled in both cities.
The DMRC offices which was opened for this purpose, is presently not functioning since March 1. They will be closed completely by March 15. E. Sreedharan may address the media in a press conference on March 8 to explain the barriers confronted in the implementation of the project. The latest issue that led DMRC to withdraw from the project was the dispute regarding the construction of an overbridge for the Light Metro project. The government had entrusted DMRC with the construction in 2016 September.
But later, DMRC was removed from the project in 2017 December. Sreedharan gave a letter to the government noting that it was against the previous order and asking to sign a contract with the DMRC. He also mentioned that they will withdraw from the project if the government does not respond by February 15. However, the government did not reply and he sent a letter again on February 28.
As E. Sreedharan withdrew from the project, DMRC is not likely to commit with any other metro projects in Kerala in future also. This will lead the government to depend on private agencies. However, it is assumed that metro projects cannot be implemented profitably in PPP (public–private partnership), as the high-cost construction may lead to high ticket rates too. There were allegations that a group of bureaucrats have been trying to sabotage the Light Metro project from the very beginning.
Meanwhile, Minister G. Sudhakaran said that the government will proceed with the Light Metro project in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode cities. Sreedharan might have withdrawn from the project as per the interest of his company. The report submitted by Sreedharan regarding the design of the coaches was approved by the government in 2016, he added. Chief Secretary Paul Antony did not respond on the issue. His office informed that the revised study report has been handed over to the transport secretary.