CCEA nod for Metro Rail project

S. Vydhinathan

“Park-and-ride” facilities for vehicles to be provided

Estimated cost of the project is Rs.14,600 crore

59 % to be met by concessional Official Development Assistance loan from Japan

CHENNAI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) of the Union government approved the Chennai Metro Rail Project at its meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. The long-awaited project aims at providing Chennai with a fast, reliable, convenient, efficient, modern and affordable mode of public transport, which could offer a lasting solution to growing transport needs.

According to officials, the clearance for the proposed facility in Chennai by the CCEA was the fastest for any Metro Rail project in the country.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs.14,600 crore, including escalation, Central taxes and interest during the period of construction, but excluding State taxes and value of vacant State government land. A total of 59 per cent of the cost will be met by concessional Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of the government of Japan. The agreement was signed between India and Japan on November 21, 2008, in Tokyo.

The Central government will contribute 15 per cent of the project cost as equity and 5 per cent as subordinate debt. The remaining 21 per cent of the cost will be met by the State government in the form of equity (15 per cent) and subordinate debt (6 per cent).

In June 2006, the State Cabinet took a decision to implement the Metro Rail project in Chennai. The government ordered the preparation of a detailed project report, which was entrusted to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The project was declared a “Special Initiative” under the direct control of the Chief Minister. The detailed project report was submitted on November 1, 2007 and the project was approved by the Cabinet on November 7.

The project consists of two corridors with a combined length of 45 km. Corridor I will be 23.1 km-long (14.3 km underground and 8.8 km elevated). It will be from Washermenpet to the airport via Anna Salai. Corridor II will be 22-km long (9.7 km underground and 12.3 km elevated) and connect Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount via Koyambedu. The portions of Corridor I from Washermanpet to Saidapet on Anna Salai, and Corridor II on Periyar EVR Salai and Anna Nagar 2nd Avenue, will be underground and the remaining portion on an elevated structure. The project is programmed for completion in financial year 2014-15. It will be implemented by the Chennai Metro Rail Limited, a special purpose vehicle, which will be a joint-venture with equal equity participation from the Central and State governments on Delhi Metro Rail Corporation pattern.

Special efforts have been made in the design of the project to ensure proper integration with other forms of public and private transport including buses, suburban trains and the MRTS. Wherever possible, “park-and-ride” facilities for two and four-wheelers will be provided.

Most of the land requirement will be fulfilled by the government. The small extent of private land needed will be purchased through a negotiated process, taking into account prevailing market prices. Land acquisition will be taken up where negotiation is not successful or not feasible for legal reasons, according to a release from the Metro Rail Company.

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