Next stop for DMRC: Kerala’s twin monorail projects worth Rs.7,000 cr
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The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) may land two plum infrastructure projects in Kerala this year. These are the R5,099-crore and R1,991-crore monorail projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.
The state government has formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV) called the Kerala Monorail Corporation to speed up the implementation of the projects in the two cities with chief minister Oommen Chandy as its chairman.
Sources in chief minister's office told FE that the first priority is the Kozhikode Monorail. Since the effort and capital for the 41.8-km Thiruvananthapuram monorail would be more than twice that of the 14.5-km Kozhikode project, this would be split into two phases of R2,775 crore and R2,324 crore. Feasibility studies for the projects have been done by the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre and the DMRC has handed over a detailed project report (DPR) for the Kozhikode Monorail project. It has also been signed up to do the same for the jumbo monorail project in the state capital.
Rail infrastructure projects in Kerala have been drawing huge international investor attention. For all its project implementation problems, Kochi Metro Rail enjoyed a spew of potential investors and associates from Europe and Japan, at the recent Emerging Kerala — Global Connect conclave.
Balfour Beatty, UK's largest construction group, said it was interested in providing technical assistance to rail systems. "We have constructed the rail projects in London, which are now time-tested," said Balfour Beatty business development manager Puneet Puri.
This comes even as the work on the ongoing Kochi Metro has been stumped, after the consultancy DMRC and KRML locked horns over various issues. DMRL principal advisor E Sreedharan chided the state government for an imputed loss of R30 lakh a day due to red tapism. From R2,239 crore in 2005, the project suffered cost escalation to R5,182 crore now, he added.
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