THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday informed the Assembly the government has not backtracked from the Light Metro projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode even as he said the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation(DMRC) withdrew from the project since its contract had expired.
Replying to a calling attention motion by V S Sivakumar(Cong), Pinarayi said the DMRC’s exit was unlikely to pose any hurdles for the two projects.
“Since the Light Metro projects are to be implemented jointly by the state and the Centre, the financial burden arising out of the two projects needs to be carefully looked into,” Pinarayi said while terming the loss-making Kochi Metro project a lesson for Kerala. According to him, the state and the Centre need to spell out their policies regarding the projects.
The Chief Minister said as part of preliminary works, administrative sanction for Rs 272 crore has been given for land acquisition and construction of overbridges in Thiruvananthapuram.
For the `13.33 crore Light Metro project in Kozhikode, 8.28 hecatre of government land has been earmarked for building a depot yard. However, the project needed some changes based on the Centre’s new metro policy. A committee led by the Finance Secretary will examine the two projects and submit proposals to the Centre, he said. On a specific query by Sivakumar as to why the DMRC had been overlooked, the Chief Minister said the government did not sideline the DMRC.
Ramesh: Exclusion to promote corruption
T’Puram: Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has alleged the government excluded DMRC from the light metro projects for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode for corruption. “The government will have to pay a big price for this mistake. People of Kerala will not forgive this,” he said. “The LDF which organised a human chain to include DMRC and Sreedharan in Kochi Metro project has now excluded them from the light metro projects. It is shocking that the Chief Minister denied an appointment to Metro Man for three months ago,” he said. The DMRC and Sreedharan were avoided for the benefit of some persons, he said.
Resist move to drop Sreedharan: V Muraleedharan
T’Puram: There should be a collective voice against the move to drop E Sreedharan from the light metro projects, said senior BJP leader V Muraleedharan. In a statement here, he alleged a deliberate attempt by the state government to exclude Sreedharan from the project citing technical reasons. “The Pinarayi Government is planning to drop Sreedharan from the project as he’s against the move to make huge expenditure in the name of road development,” the BJP leader said. Muraleedharan pointed out that Pinarayi and the Left had organised protests when the previous UDF Government planned to remove Sreedharan from the project. Now the Left is also taking the same step.