The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will implement the Rs.5,182-crore Kochi Metro Rail project with E. Sreedharan as its Principal Adviser. The decision seems to have ended all uncertainties about the implementation agency for the mass rapid transit system and Mr. Sreedharan’s role in it.

A decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting between the Centre and the State government, and attended by the Managing Directors of the DMRC and Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL), Mangu Singh and Elias George respectively, and Mr. Sreedharan, here on Tuesday.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath said the DMRC would be fully engaged in the implementation of the rail project mooted in 2005 to decongest the State’s commercial capital. This is the first time the administration has allowed the DMRC to go out of the State of Delhi for the full implementation of a project. The Kochi project, he said, will be completed within the shortest possible time. (The Kerala government had announced a three-year time frame for the completion of the project.) The project covers 25.612 km in the Aluva-MG Road-Petta stretch. To persistent queries, the Minister said Mr. Sreedharan would function as Principal Adviser to the DMRC, stationed in Kerala.

He will be delegated responsibilities as determined by the DMRC in consultation with the KMRL.

The engagement of the DMRC will be on cost-plus basis (cost plus mutually agreed consultancy fee). The Minister stressed the need to build (KMRL’s) capacity as he announced that the DMRC will assist it in building up its organisational capacity for executing the metro work and undertaking its operation and maintenance. (The KMRL is expected to take up the proposed extension of the metro rail project to the airport, Ka kkanad, Tripunithura, etc.).

More In: Kochi | Kerala | National