TAMIL NADU

No going back on metro rail project: Dharam Singh

"Government will stand by the decision of the Cabinet"

S.Rajendran

BANGALORE: : The Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, will be talking to his party chief and former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, about the need for the metro rail project for Bangalore and remove his misgivings.

The Government has decided to go ahead with the metro rail project as scheduled although there could be changes in the alignment if the present alignment calls for demolition of large structures.

The Chief Minister, Dharam Singh, and Mr. Siddaramaiah told The Hindu on Monday that there is no question of stalling the project or even changing the schedule. The implementation of the project has been considerably delayed and the Government wants to hasten the implementation. The metro rail project is a prestigious one for the coalition Government, and the necessary approvals have been received with great difficulty. "The Government will stand by the decision of the Cabinet," they said.

Mr. Deve Gowda has raised serious objections to the metro rail project and has even suggested to the coalition Government that it could consider monorail in preference to the metro rail since it is cost effective and the loss of property on account of the project can be pegged to the minimum. He has also demanded that the implementation of the metro rail project be halted immediately and a high-level expert committee be constituted to evaluate it.

Mr. Dharam Singh noted that the Government obtained the clearances in a short time. "Bangalore badly requires good infrastructure, good roads and a metro rail system". He said, the Government would take a serious note of the suggestions made by Mr. Deve Gowda and, if need be, will alter the alignment of the metro rail wherever required. It should be remembered that it was also the aim of the Government to prevent large-scale destruction of property and trees in the name of the metro rail project, he added. However, people will also have to cooperate with the authorities. The Government is prepared to translocate business places and houses. Such things are bound to happen when a major construction activity gets underway.

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