The Union Urban Development Ministry has issued a directive to the state government to ensure that no contract is given to any party by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on the Kochi Metro Rail project before the director board of KMRL takes a final decision on it. The directive has come when the state government is yet to ratify the final draft agreement with the DMRC for want of clarity on many aspects and since the document reportedly favours only the latter. DMRC is the assigned consultant and executor of the project.
‘‘Yes, the government received such a directive four days ago. It is the prerogative of the board to give approval for any contract,” maintained a key source in the government. The Union Urban Development Ministry has reportedly interfered on the basis of information that the DMRC has begun to initiate proceedings for sourcing firms to execute the Kochi Metro, seemingly taking it for granted that the inking of the final agreement with KMRL is only a formality.
‘‘There are certain clauses in the draft agreement which give absolute freedom to DMRC to invite bids from contractors. That may be the reason for the moves from its side. But the fact remains that only the KMRL board is empowered to give sanction for it,” sources said.
Express had pointed out recently that clauses adverse to the interests of the state are in the proposed agreement.