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DMRC withdraws from Kerala Light Metro rail projects
By AM Abdussalam March 09, 2018
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KOCHI: A day after Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) withdrew from Light Metro rail projects proposed to be set in Kozhikode and Trivandrum, DMRC principal advisor ‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan on Thursday slammed the Kerala government for its failure to sign an agreement even after 14 months of awarding the project. Sreedharan expressed his displeasure over the manner in which the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had failed to sign the turnkey consultancy agreement for the preparatory works of the Light Metro projects.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rebutted the charges and said it was not his government but the DMRC which had withdrawn from the project. Chief Minister said that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared by the DMRC has been approved by the state government. “The DPR and comprehensive transport plan have been submitted before central government for sanction. The government has approved Rs2.72 billion for land acquisition and construction of flyovers at Sreekaryam, Ulloor and Pattom as part of preparatory works of Light Metro project,” Pinarayi said, while replying to a calling attention motion moved by VS Shivakumar MLA in the state assembly on Thursday. He assured the house that Light Metro projects will not be shelved at any cost.

Sreedharan told media persons here that the DMRC has decided to exit from the proposed Light Metro for the 35.12km stretch in Trivandrum and Kozhikode and has decided to close down its offices there. “Since 2014, we have had these offices and every month we are spending Rs1.6 million, which has now become a big burden,” Sreedharan said at a press conference. In his reply to the chief minister, Sreedharan said that ‘no metro rail in the world makes profit’. “The best word what can be said is metros make only operational surplus or, in other words, it can be termed as financial viability when the expenses are met with the revenue generated,” he explained.

Sreedharan said that he was withdrawing from the project with a heavy heart and the two offices would be closed down on the 15th of this month.

Sreedharan had written to the government to see that they sign the agreement before Feb.15, and informed the government that if this is not done they would have to take tough decisions.

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