Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala state government has constituted a three-member committee to review the detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed light metro in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. The decision came at a time when the general consultant of the project, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC), has been complaining about the delay from the part of the government in approving the DPR it submitted in October last. There has been widespread criticism over the feasibility of the project since it was proposed.
The committee, which consists of finance secretary K M Abraham, PWD secretary A P M Mohammed Hanish and MD of Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation P I Sheik Pareeth, has been directed by the government to have negotiations with the DMRC and reach an understanding on the progress of the project, sources said.
The finance department has major reservations about the project, which is a reason for the delay in approving the DPR. Abraham is learned to have demanded clarity on the financial structuring of the project. Sources close to PWD said that the new development is a proof that state government has apprehensions about the project. A detailed note on the impracticalities on the financial model had been prepared by the finance department and submitted to the government for approval.
“Though DMRC principal adviser E Sreedharan has conducted several presentations, most officials and people’s representatives are not yet convinced about the project. The formation of a committee, instead of approving the DPR, shows that the government is cautious,” sources said.
TOI had reported the flaws in the DPR. The DPR does not have clarity about the technology to be used for the project. Earlier, a report prepared by DMRC had rejected light metro for Thiruvananthapuram citing its sharp curves and steep gradients. Though PWD minister V K Ebrahim Kunju informed assembly that linear propulsion system will be used for light metro, DMRC later denied it. Apart from technical specifications, concerns were raised against the move to award turnkey consultancy to DMRC without calling tender, which is a violation of guidelines of central vigilance commission.
Sources said that since the term of state government and newly appointed chief secretary would end in a year, priorities are given to projects that can be completed in a year.
PWD secretary Mohammed Hanish said that more clarity was need on whether to implement light metro or revive the monorail project. (TOI)