Kochi Metro gets PIB approval
Thiruvananthapuram, March 23:
The Kochi Metro Rail project has cleared a major hurdle by earning the nod of the Public Investment Board. This makes it possible for work to start on the multi-thousand crore project at the earliest, according to the State Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy. The final nod from the Union Cabinet is now merely a technical formality, the Chief Minister said in a statement here. This, along with the signing of the agreement with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is what separates the project from actual work on the ground getting started.
The Union Cabinet has earmarked Rs 50 crore for the project this year while the State Budget presented late last week has allocated Rs 158 crore. Mr E. Sreedharan, former chairman of Delhi Metro, is advising the State on the prestigious project. The project is estimated to cost Rs 5,181 crore (without providing for land costs). The JICA has promised to extend up to Rs 2,170 crore (44 per cent) for 25 years. The Centre's share would be of the order of Rs 1,002 crore. The State Government needs to cough up 15 per cent in a model similar to the one adopted for the Chennai Metro. The State would also need to identify funds to the extent of 20.74 per cent as share of the rest of the project expenditure.