Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kochi Metro likely to be ready by 2011

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the consultants for the Rs 3,048-crore elevated light rail Kochi Metro, has turned down request for change in Kochi Metro alignments. Civil work on the project, scheduled this month, was in jeopardy following local traders pleading change in the route.

“Since DMRC has refused to oblige the traders’ demands, work will go on as per the original schedule and route,” M Vijayakumar, state minister in charge of metro-rail, said. It is feared that further changes may make the project unattractive to investors.

Only as much as 15% of the stakes in the Kochi Metro Rail PPP is claimed by the state government. Rest is open to private promoters. The project is also counting on support from the Planning Commission.

The elevated light rail Kochi Metro is scheduled to be ready for public use within three years from starting of the work. Since only 26 hectares of land is needed, (as the transport is on elevated rail structures), less than 16 acres needs to be acquired. So work on the metro rail is under way. As per the present indications, the rail is expected to be functional by end of 2011.

Traders in Kochi, anxious that long-drawn construction activities, may stall free movement in the city, had mooted change in alignment put forward by DMRC. They also argued that the DPR (detail project report) was yet to be made public. The present alignment of the metro rail running 25.3 km from Edapally to Tripunithura was originally suggested by a study by RITES.

Following the mele over alignment, senior DMRC officials had visited the site in February to make inspections. The recommendation was that no change in the original alignment is called for, DMRC has informed the state government.


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