CHENNAI: 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 MoU states that if the project cannot be completed within the stipulated period, the State government had to bear all the additional costs and if the project cost goes up due to factors like rise in the prices materials, variation in foreign exchange, taxation changes etc., the Centre and State governments should equally share it. Revenue loss and capital expenditure incurred during the period of execution of the project, should be borne by the State government, according to the clauses of the MoU. If the CMRL fails to repay the loan availed from JICA, the State government should repay it, according to the clauses of the MoU signed by Karunanidhi which went against Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa added.
“Above all, the MoU has stipulated that an autonomous body be created to periodically revise the fares of transport services offered by the State transport Corporations. Though this condition cannot be accepted by anyone, the previous DMK regime had agreed to this too. That is, the autonomous body to be constituted will decide the bus fare of State transport corporations hereafter”, the CM said.
Moreover, the MoU had stipulated that an Urban Transport Fund be created and that it should be funded through taxes. Also the assets of the CMRL should be refurbished only with this fund. Karunanidhi had accepted this too, Jayalalithaa pointed out.
Though the DMK government announced that Metro Rail project would be implemented for Chennai on June 24, 2006, it could get the Centre’s nod for the project only in 2009 despite being an ally of the Congress.