Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that with the Public Investment Board (PIB) attached to the Union Finance Ministry clearing the Kochi Metro, all major hurdles to the project's implementation have been overcome. An official press note quoted the Chief Minister as saying that all that remained were clearance from the Union Cabinet and a Japanese loan. These, he said, would be available soon. Since Rs.50 crore has been earmarked in the Central budget and Rs.150 crores has been set apart in the State budget, work on the project could begin soon. The Chief Minister hoped that a soft loan would be available from Japan soon. That the project could be begun within one year of assumption of office by the UDF government was a matter of great gratification, Mr. Chandy said. — Special Correspondent

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