It will take a final call on decisions made by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation

Even as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) scrutinises the technical bid for the elevated rail-based mass rapid transit system (MRTS) mooted for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. (KMRL) has been made a consultant.

The decision to make the KMRL a consultant was taken at a recent board meeting of Kerala Monorail Corporation Ltd. (KMCL), the special purpose vehicle set up to execute the Rs.5,581-crore project.

Official sources said the KMCL board meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, while giving nod to the proposal mooted by the KMRL Managing Director, decided to give Rs.69.76 crore as consultancy fee — 1.5 per cent of the estimated completion cost — to the KMRL. The KMRL had demanded 2 per cent as consultancy fees.

Apprehensions have been raised over the intention of making the KMRL a consultant, as the DMRC that prepared the Detailed Project Report for the projects has been given the status of General Consultant.

Transport planners have expressed doubts about the KMRL’s expertise for the work. For the Kochi Metro, it is the DMRC led by Principal Adviser E. Sreedharan that plans, supervises, and executes the project.

The DMRC is to get Rs.170.92 crore as consultancy fee, 3.25 per cent of the completion cost. Sources said the mandate given to the DMRC had been given to the KMRL too. Transport planners said this would create hurdles for the project’s progress.

The DMRC has been given the responsibility of designing and preparing the bid document, short-listing and selecting the contractors, supervising the work, and quality certification.

It is learnt that the KMRL will take a final call on the decisions made by the DMRC.

“The decision, aimed at sidelining the DMRC and Mr. Sreedharan and making the KMRL a super-check body, will send the wrong message and affect the project badly,” says a transport planner.