In a setback to the ongoing upgrade of transport infrastructure, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has decided to exit from the Light Metro proposed in 35.12 km in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode and to close down its offices in the two cities by March 15.
DMRC Principal Adviser E. Sreedharan has officially communicated the decision to Principal Secretary, Public Works, G. Kamalavardhana Rao, sources told The Hindu . The decision comes in the wake of the reluctance of the government to sign the turnkey consultancy agreement for the preparatory works of the transit system even 14 months after it was awarded to the DMRC.
Mr. Sreedharan had written to Mr. Rao to sign the agreement before February 15. Otherwise, he had cautioned, the DMRC would be forced to take a harsh decision by month end. “There was no communication from the PWD or the government and hence the decision to wind up the two offices and exit from the MRTS,” sources said.
The Managing Director, Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation Ltd (KRTL), the special purpose vehicle set up to execute the project, had informed the DMRC that the pact would be inked in December. Despite being taken up at the highest level, the KRTL refused to share the minutes of the last board meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The DMRC had sought 6% of the cost of the preparatory works, including construction of flyovers, as consultancy fee in the draft pact.
Flyovers were to be constructed at Sreekaryam, Ulloor, Pattom, and Thampanoor in Thiruvananthapuram as part of the 21.8-km MRTS from Technocity to Karamana.
The DMRC has issued notices to the eight employees on the rolls in the office at Pattoor here and five in Kozhikode to enable those on deputation to return to the parent organisations and the others to seek new jobs.
The fate of the ‘reworked’ DPR of Light Metro by the DMRC based on the new Metro Policy is not known. As per this, the cost for laying 35.12 km in the two cities has gone up by ₹700 crore from ₹6,728 crore.