Kochi metro hits a roadblock

 The proposed Kochi metro rail project has hit a roadblock with the Kerala government deviating from its earlier decision to entrust the execution work to the Delhi Metro Rail Limited (DMRL).

The DMRL has taken up the matter with the Union Urban Development Ministry against the state’s move for a global tender. Transport Minister Ariyadan Muhammed who is the vice-chairman of the KMRL (Kochi Metro Rail Ltd), the company which owns the project, has said that the KMRL is unable to award the  project execution contract to the DMRL as the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) norms do not permit granting the job to the firm which is the consultant to the project.

The minister said that he and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy would meet the Union ministers concerned in Delhi in a couple of days and apprise them of the issue besides seeking permission to float global tender for the work.

He also said that global tender “will be handier for the company” to raise fund for the Rs 5000-crore plus project.

But DMRL points out in the letter sent to the Union Ministry that it “is not yet the consultant of the project,” but helped the KMRL to prepare the detail report of the project.

It also argues that the CVC norms never prevent the consultant from executing the project. For instance, it said, the DMRL is the consultant and executing agency for the Jaipur Metro.

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