Thiruvananthapuram: Ending a long wait, the Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for long waited Thiruvananthapuram – Kozhikode Light Metro rail projects. Once the state gets the Centre’s clearance, the project would be implemented as a joint initiative of both the governments.
As per the current agreement, it is likely that the state and Central governments will independently fund 20 per cent of the total expenses, while the remaining 60 per cent will be availed as loan. The land acquisition cost will be borne by the state government. The project report for the Rs 6,728-crore Light Metro project has been under consideration of the Cabinet form some time.
Though the project had come up before the previous two Cabinets, a decision was deferred. It was expected that a final decision would be taken in the Cabinet meeting last Thursday. But was postponed as Works Minister V K Ebrahim Kunju was not present.
The Detailed Project Report for the Light Metro project submitted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in last October has been awaiting the mandatory clearance from the Cabinet for sometime.
The project had faced objections from the Planning Board and the Finance Department. They had also opposed the financing model proposed by DMRC and instead suggested PPP model. However the Works Department insisted that the DMRC should be entrusted with the project.
They also pointed at the funding options listed by DMRC principal advisor E Sreedharan who had suggested that the project can avail loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.