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News Entry# 288889
  
Dec 17 2016 (09:54)  Light Metro yet to overcome hurdles (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestKMRC/Kochi Metro  -  

News Entry# 288889     
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Posted by: rdb*^  127055 news posts
DMRC request to float tenders for rolling stock rejected
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s initial enthusiasm for the Light Metro proposed for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode seems to have dwindled with many crucial decisions and approval for the take-off of the project getting delayed.
Over two years has gone by after the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) submitted the Detailed Project Report for the Rs.6,728-crore project. It has been awaiting Centre’s clearance since then.
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sanction for the project was given by the Cabinet on September 8, 2016, following the intervention of DMRC Principal Adviser E. Sreedharan. The DMRC has since been made turnkey consultant and approval was given to commence the Rs.272.84-crore preparatory work. Inspection of the land needed for four flyovers and stations in the capital commenced last week.
Neither the government nor Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation Ltd (KRTL), the special purpose vehicle set up to execute the project, has followed earnestly the request for approval submitted by the State to the Union Ministry of Urban Affairs, sources said. Even top officials of the State do not know whether the file is with the Ministry or has been forwarded to the Public Investment Board (PIB).
The KRTL had been headless since December following the retirement of P.I. Sheikh Pareeth. Only on Thursday the government appointed Director of Ports Ajith Patil as KRTL’s Managing Director.
The DMRC’s effort to float tenders for rolling stock has been rejected by the KRTL. Initially, the KRTL MD gave approval to the DMRC to float tenders, but it has been cancelled since then. The KRTL board, chaired by the Chief Minister, decided to write to the Union Ministry of Urban Affairs on the specifications.
Sources said the decision to float tenders was taken based on two rounds of talks with suppliers of rolling stock and on the report of a six-member high-level team led by Mr. Sreedharan that visited Kuala Lumpur and Taipei last week to study the rolling stock used in the urban rail system there.
The government has not given approval for the fourth flyover proposed along the Technocity-Karamana Light Metro corridor at Thampanoor despite the DMRC submitting the design and drawings to the PWD, sources said.
The project is to be implemented as a government initiative on the DMRC model with viability gap funding by the Centre and the State. A decision on the funding of the balance amount is also pending. The project is to be executed on a turnkey basis on the lines of the Kochi Metro Rail project.
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