Sreedharan promises Kochi metro in 3 years

The Kerala government on Thursday gave a green signal to the appointment of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) as project consultant for the Kochi metro rail project, with former DMRC MD E Sreedharan claiming to complete the project within three years of getting the final approval.

Chief minister Oommen Chandy announced this on Thursday after the meeting of the State Planning Board in which E Sreedharan is also a member.  Chandy said the Kerala government had no opposition to the appointment of DMRC as the consultant of the project .

Sreedharan said, “I will be the principal advisor to the consultant with full powers and responsibilities.”

The 26-km long Kochi metro project is the first such project in Kerala. It is expected to ease traffic congestion in the rapidly growing Kochi city and facilitate the growth of the town. The project was conceived in 2004 when DMRC was asked to prepare a detailed project report.

But the much delayed project stuck in a dead end recently following the uncertainty regarding appointment of consultant. The announcement by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), a company formed by Kerala government to set up and manage the Kochi metro, that it was against appointment of DMRC as the consultant without bidding
had resulted in a controversy.

Following this the State Power Minister Aryadan Muhammad who is also the vice chairman of KMRL said there was nothing wrong in selecting a consultant through a global tender. But the Opposition Left Democratic Front had alleged that the move to keep DMRC out of the Kochi metro project was aimed at making room for corruption.

Explaining to media the details of his discussion with Sreedharan, Chandy said Sreedharan’s services will be utilised for infrastructure development in Kerala, including development of roads and a high speed rail corridor connecting the northernmost district of Kasaragod with Thiruvananthapuram.

Power Minister Aryadan Muhammad said the earlier opposition to appointment of
DMRC as consultant was because of the doubt about Sreedharan’s role as he had already retired from DMRC.

Now that it has been clarified that Sreedharan will be in charge of the project, KMRL won’t have any opposition to selecting DMRC.

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