The Director Board of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has requested the State government to look at the possibility of extending the Kochi Metro Rail Project to areas in the suburbs, the Union Urban Development secretary and the agency’s Chairman Sudhir Krishna said.
The KMRL would also ‘revisit’ both the detailed project report (DPR) of the metro and the delegation of powers to the agency’s MD, Elias George. These decisions were taken at the KMRL’s first director board meeting that was held here on Tuesday. Two committees chaired by Mr George will be set up for this.
No decision on MoU
But the meeting did not decide on signing an MoU between KMRL and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Though the State government had promised to hand over the project’s implementation to DMRC, there is delay in issuing a Government Order demarcating the works between the two agencies. The delay in signing an MoU has worsened matters.
DMRC’s principal advisor E Sreedharan had sought the signing of the MoU and speedy handing over of works to the agency, since each day’s delay in beginning the work raised the project cost by Rs 40 lakh. DMRC is unable to award tenders because of the delay in signing the MoU. It had sent a draft MoU to the KMRL early this year.
Elaborating on Tuesday’s director board decisions, Mr Sudhir Krishna told reporters that the metro rail will be effective only when it covers the (Greater) Kochi area. “We will request the State government to extend the metro and think ahead so that the metro rail is more than a transportation project. The metro is going to be a great equalizer, where both the rich the poor will travel in the same coach. The poor remain poor because of poor mobility and unplanned regional development.”
He said such transporting modes are game-changers and must cover areas beyond the city, if need be by inter-modal linkage with mono rail, bus rapid transport system and the waterways. For this, we encourage cities to have an integrated regional transportation plan. The Centre will bear 50 per cent of the cost, he said.