Though Larsen and Toubro has been awarded the contract to construct the viaduct and six stations on the Kalamassery-International Stadium stretch, work can begin only after Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) signs a contractual agreement with DMRC.
The agreement is overdue since it was expected to be finalised and inked in February. Sources said that there was delay in finalising a few terms, following which it was approved by KMRL’s Director Board and forwarded to DMRC’s head office for approval. The agreement will be signed once the Delhi government approves it.
The KMRL’s Managing Director Elias George said that the agreement would be signed very soon. “The metro’s works will not suffer any delay and civil works (on the Aluva-Edappally stretch) will begin as scheduled, by May end,” he said.
The agreement is based on the terms of engagement between the two agencies that was finalised in January and states the responsibilities and liabilities of each agency. On reports in a section of the media about differences of opinion between the two agencies in finalising sites for the metro’s casting yards, a joint press release issued by the KMRL and DMRC said that they are “extremely concerned” at the reports.
The yards are necessary for fabricating girders and pier caps. Sources said that the managements of HMT and SAIL have promised to hand over a few acres for the yards, while FACT has agreed in principle to the same.
The State government is expected to decide on handing over a portion of land owned by the Housing Board behind the High Court.
“Both agencies are committed to building a world class metro and are working together to fulfil this dream. Many factors have to be taken into account in finalising casting yards. We are jointly involved in locating suitable places for setting up the yards. As the work of the metro is expected to commence in May, this issue is being seriously looked into by both the organisations and the same will be sorted out shortly.”