The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the general consultant of the Monorail projects mooted for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, will get 3.25 per cent of the estimated total cost of Rs.5,581 crore as consultancy fee.

A decision to this effect was taken at a board meeting of Kerala Monorail Corporation Ltd (KMCL), the special purpose vehicle created to execute the elevated rail-based mass rapid transit system (MRTS), here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

The DMRC had demanded 3.5 per cent of the completion cost of the monorail project in Thiruvananthapuram (Rs.3,590 crore in 2019) and Rs.1,991 crore in Kozhikode. The government was willing to give only 3 per cent to the DMRC. At the board meeting, the DMRC, represented by its principal adviser E. Sreedharan, agreed for 3.25 per cent upon the intervention of Mr. Chandy.

The DMRC, which prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the projects in the two cities, had suggested a turn-key contractor for operation and maintenance of the project in the initial five years after commissioning.

Official sources told The Hindu that the performance guarantee clause, another bone of contention, mooted by the KMCL was also avoided as it was not acceptable to the DMRC.

The KMCL board also decided to go by the same conditions entered into with the DMRC for the Kochi Metro Rail project in the case of the monorail projects. The mobilisation advance will be 5 per cent and the payment will be on completing the milestones to be fixed as per the DPR. The meeting also did not accept the additional commitments put forward by the DMRC.

Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju said the issues had been resolved and that the draft agreement will be put up before the Cabinet for clearance so that the agreement can be signed at the earliest.

As a General Consultant, the DMRC will be responsible for the design, preparation of the bid document, short-listing and selecting contractors, supervision, and quality certification.

Minister for Finance K.M. Mani; Minister for Transport Aryadan Mohammed, Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar, Minister for Panchayat M.K. Muneeer and Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali, all board members, attended.

Additional Chief Secretary, Transport, Elias George; Secretary Public Works, T. O. Sooraj; Chief Operating Officer, Kerala Road Fund Board who is also the MD of the KMCL, who are also on the board, attended the meeting.

Official sources said the herculean task before the authorities will be on identifying the funding agency for the project. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has already evinced ‘keen interest’ to fund the project.

The authorities are looking into roping Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the financial institution and the main implementing agency for France’s official development assistance to developing countries and overseas territories.

The 22.2-km Monorail has been mooted from Techno city to Karamana in the capital and 14.2 km with 15 stations starting from the Government Medical College hostel area to Meenchantha in Kozhikode.