The Cabinet on Wednesday approved an increase in the state government’s financial assistance for the Kochi Metro Rail project. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told a post-Cabinet briefing that the nod has been given for a revised administrative sanction of Rs 242.47 crore for the project.”Earlier, the government had given administrative sanction for Rs 158.68 crore.
The government has decided to increase the amount,” Chandy said. The original amount was a budgetary allocation in the annual budget. The money will be spent on land acquisition and other necessities.
Meanwhile, the construction of the Kochi Metro Rail is progressing. Regarding the external borrowings for the Rs 5,537 crore Kochi Metro Rail project, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) authorities had already entered into a consensus with Canara Bank and French financial aid agency, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD). Accordingly, Canara Bank will provide Rs 1,170 crore for Kochi Metro Rail project for a term of 20 years at an interest rate of 10.80 per cent, with a moratorium of seven years. The total external borrowing requirement of Kochi Metro Rail is nearly Rs 2,170 crore.
The French agency will provide another Rs 1,525 crore (180 million Euros) for the project. As per the authorities, Kochi Metro Rail project is far ahead of other Metro Rail projects in the country in attaining financial closure. The Centre and state governments will also pump in Rs 753 crore each as equity share for the project.
Along with the construction of the Kochi Metro rail, the preparatory works too are progressing.,
The reconstruction of Ernakulam North Rail Overbridge (ROB), one of the major preparatory work, is expected to be completed by the end of this month. The then LDF government, in 2010, made an allotment of Rs 156 crore for preparatory works of Kochi Metro Rail, including the North ROB reconstruction, new flyover at Salim Rajan Road and the widening of Banerjee Road and MG Road.
Later, the UDF Government, in 2012 budget, had made the allocation of Rs 150 crore.