Kolkata: Ending a dispute over the issue of cost escalation following delay in the ongoing East West Metro Rail project, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today said the Centre will bear the entire additional cost of Rs 765 crore to complete the project and commission its first phase by 2018.
“We have decided to remove all hurdles in the phase II of the East West Metro project. The escalation cost of the projects is Rs 765 crore. We will bear that. In the next two weeks, the honourable CM and myself will definitely launch the project again and this is going to be the longest under-sea project,” Prabhu said to media.
“The Railways will bear the entire burden of escalated cost of Rs 765 crore and the first phase of the long-awaited East-West Metro Rail in Kolkata will be commissioned in 2018,” Prabhu said after his meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and senior officials of railways and state government which reviewed all pending projects in the state.
The work under the tunnel would resume on September 20, Prabhu said adding that he had asked his officials to expedite all pending railway projects to strengthen rail infrastructure in the state.
Lauding the assurance by the Union Minister, Banerjee said the railways also agreed on the new alignment of the East West Metro. The projected date for the launch of the first phase of the Rs 4,875 crore project was set earlier in June 2018.
Prabhu also advised Metro Railway and Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRC) authorities to resolve the hurdles and accelerate the progress of their pending projects to avoid cost over-run.
Incidentally, the ambitious East West Metro project of KMRC is incurring cost over-run due to delay in solving land problem in central Kolkata area.