German firm to monitor safety, quality of metro project

The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) will sign an agreement with the French overseas development assistance agency AFD for sourcing 180 million Euros (Rs 1,500 crore) loan for Kochi Metro here on February 8.

The loan was approved at the KMRL’s 16 Director Board meeting held here on Monday. The loan comes with a 20-year repayment period and a five-year grace period.

The Rs 5,337-crore project’s total loan component is Rs 2,170 crore, and the rest will be sourced from Canara Bank. The balance amount will be raised by the State and Centre and through subordinate debt.

The KMRL board also approved Rs 2,398 crore as the metro’s budget for 2014-15. The current financial year’s revised estimate is Rs 1,000 crore, said Union Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna who chaired the meeting.

Sand from rivers

The board also approved appointment of Deutsche Bank International GmbH, Germany, as quality and safety monitoring consultants for the project. The contract is worth Rs. 36.7 crore. 

On the issue of procuring river sand for the metro from the Bharatapuzha and the Periyar, it was decided to source sand from ‘non-water-flow’ areas of the rivers.

A mix of sand and m.sand will be used for the project.

South-Pettah work

The meeting also discussed the DMRC ‘partially offloading’ ERA-RANKEN from civil works in between Ernakulam Junction railway station and Petta and awarding works on SA Road to Soma and L&T.

Mr Krishna called for initiating steps so that there is optimal inter-modal connectivity among different modes of transport, by the time metro is commissioned in 2016. He credited the Kerala government for prevailing on the Union government to extend JNNURM funds for augmenting passenger-ferry services in the State.

To a question on construction workers unions’ obstructing work during the past week at metro’s casting yard in HMT, KMRL managing director Elias George said that the issue would be sorted out in the coming days.

Traffic snarls

Mr George is expected to convene a meeting of the traffic coordination committee on January 30 to discuss traffic snarls in the vicinity of metro work sites and the need to develop alternative roads to reroute vehicles. Widening narrow corridors and relocating electricity posts from the road shoulder too is on the agenda.

Work stalled

Mud-filling work at Kochi Metro’s coach-maintenance yard in Muttom was stalled on Monday after land owners obstructed lorries that were transporting mud to the site.

They alleged that there was inordinate delay in handing over compensation amount. With lorries unable to ferry mud to the site, workers and machinery idled at the site all through the day.

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