New Delhi: A section within the central government is in a bind over the scheduled foundation stone laying ceremony of two Metro rail projects in Mumbai by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday. This is because, neither have the detailed project report of the two projects-cleared by the Maharashtra cabinet on Tuesday–been submitted to the Centre nor has the Union Cabinet put its stamp of approval on these proposals.
Sources said these are mandatory considering the fact that it’s Centre which is the sovereign guarantor for any external loan that a Metro project gets. “How can we have two parameters for different projects? In the case of Lucknow Metro project we are ensuring that the due procedure is followed while giving central approval, there cannot be a separate set of norms for others,” pointed out a government official who did not wish to be named.
The Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday asked for a brief on the two projects from the urban development ministry, which deals with the Metro rail projects across the country.
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday approved Dahisar East to Andheri East and Dahisar to DN Nagar lines with a revised cost of Rs 12,618 crore. The government, which hopes to start construction by next March plans to complete them by March 2019.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had pegged the cost of the two projects at Rs 4,829.72 crore for the Dahisar East-Andheri East line, and Rs 4,994 crore for the Dahisar-DN Nagar corridor as per July 2015 prices in its proposal to the government.
Sources said the state government has claimed that it will get at least Rs 5,000 crore as loan from Asian Development Bank.