CHENNAI: Denying the charge of DMK president M Karunanidhi and its treasurer M K Stalin that the AIADMK government had delayed the execution of the Metro Rail Project, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday said that the previous DMK regime, between 2007-11, completed just three per cent of the works on Metro Rail.
She added, “It is the AIADMK government which has expedited its execution and so far completed 76 per cent of the works and also launched the service.”
Jayalalithaa said the claim of Karunanidhi and Stalin that the Metro Rail Project evolved during the DMK regime was a blatant lie. “Indeed, the feasibility study for the project was conducted in 2003 and two routes — Washermanpet to Chennai Airport and Chennai Central to St Thomas Mount — were selected for execution of the project,” she said in a statement.
The Chief Minister said between 2006 and 2011, the previous DMK regime had spent only Rs 1,143 crore on the project. However, after assuming the office of Chief Minister in 2011, till now, Rs 9,229 crore had been spent and the funds were released fully each year.
“Due to wrong economic policies, inflation, price rise and fall in the value of rupee and the delay caused by the DMK regime for implementing the project, the estimated cost of the Metro Rail project has gone up from Rs 14,600 crore to Rs 20,000 crore,” Jayalalithaa added.
Responding to the charge of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and party treasurer MK Stalin that the fares of the Chennai Metro should be lower, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said Karunanidhi had no locus standi to speak on this.
The reduction of fare was not possible as his government had effectively shut out this option by signing an anti-Tamil Nadu MoU, she said. As per the MoU, Metro Rail has been exempted from all taxes to be paid to the State government, but all taxes due to the Centre are to be paid.