THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The light metro rail, mooted for the capital and which would have benefited thousands of commuters, has reached nowhere. The project which was initially mooted by the previous UPA government is yet to see the light of the day. With traffic congestion at its peak, citizens could make use of efficient local rapid transport facilities. As the open campaigning comes to a close on Sunday, T'Puram Express talks to the candidates in Thiruvananthapuram constituency on their take on the project.
UDF candidate Shashi Tharoor says the light metro would be the best option for the capital, rather than the metro rail which was first mooted for Thiruvananthapuram. "As per the Central government guidelines, approval for a metro rail can only be given to those cities which have a population of around two million. As Thiruvananthapuram has only a one million population, it is not eligible for the metro project," he said.
According to Tharoor's manifesto- the UDF government introduced the Light Metro project for Thiruvananthapuram, even constituting a special purpose vehicle (SPV) named the Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation Ltd. in 2012. Sadly, under the current LDF state government, the project has been put on the backburner, with persistent delays in approvals and clearances. Tharoor says, if elected, he will lobby with both governments to make the project a reality.
BJP candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan said he will ensure that the long pending demand of the citizens in Thiruvananthapuram is fulfilled. "Foremost, we will once again constitute an expert team to conduct the technical feasibility study of the project and will submit it to the centre. Metroman E Sreedharan has already studied the feasibility of the project and has personally assured me that it is possible to implement it. If we come to power, will make sure the project is implemented with the involvement of the metro man," Kummanam said.
Meanwhile, LDF candidate C Divakaran said his government has not dropped the project but it has been put on hold owing to technical issues and confusion between the State and Union government.
"The withdrawal of metro man E Sreedharan from the project was a shock. Also, the loss incurred by the government from cities where the project was implemented was one of the major reasons. Since transportation issues are at its peak, the government will surely consider implementing it on a Public Private Partnership model," he said.
'NOT YET IMPLEMENTED'
"Even though the project was first suggested to be implemented in the capital, even after these many years, it has not received the green signal, whereas Kochi has successfully completed the first phase of the project and the next phase is in progress," said Unni Krishnan, a technopark employee.