Realignment to escalate cost

Realignment to escalate cost

Discussions on cost will be top priority at the meeting of the Public Investment Board (PIB) under the Ministry of the Finance being held to consider clearance of the Namma Metro Phase-II, on June 25.

The realignment near Jayadeva Hospital, which would cost an additional Rs 145 crore, might not go in favour of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).

S N Venkata Rao, Advisor to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) that had conducted the initial studies and prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR), said: “The realignment will cost the Corporation a lot more than the initial estimated escalation in cost. It will have an impact on the returns once the project is operational and also there can be a huge delay with litigations and other things.”

Senior officials at the BMRCL, however, maintain that there is nothing that cannot be resolved. “The project, per se, has been given in-principle approval. The intricacies, with cost as the main topic, will be discussed. We are confident of getting the clearance,” a source in the BMRCL said.

The DPR of Phase-II was sent to the Centre more than a year ago, following which an in-principle approval had been given to the BMRCL, which has already begun certian crucial tests on the various stretches of the proposed project.

While most of the clearances from the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) have been obtained, the implementing agencies are yet to get clearances from the Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission.

The State government had cleared the project in January 2011. The Planning Commission has shown a red flag and sought clarifications on the cost of the project, estimated to be around Rs 27,000 crore.

The 72.095-km-long Phase II is proposed to have 61 stations, out of which 12 are underground.

Speaking to Deccan Herald from New Delhi, Sudhir Krishna, MoUD Secretary, said: “The implementing agency has submitted the clarification, it is now for the Commission to decide if it is satisfactory.”

Stating that the matter (clarifications and other discussions)  was internal, Krishnan, who is also the BMRCL chairperson, said that the corporation was confident of getting the approval.

“From their point of view (Finance Ministry and Planning Commission), cost minimisation is important, and they are right from their side. From our side, we look for the best technologies, even if it costs a little higher. We have to come to an understanding and we are confident about achieving the same,” he said.

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