The ITD Cementation joint venture may pull out of the East-West Metro Corridor project for want of a final route plan. The 15-km metro project here, connecting the IT hub at Salt Lake with Howrah, is running nearly two years behind schedule. ITD is the second contractor to be affected by the slow project implementation. The infrastructure company received a contract for tunnelling work on a 5-km stretch at a cost of nearly Rs 910 crore. According to sources, it could not begin work on a large stretch for more than a year. The company will reportedly exit from the project after completing a 2-km stretch by next month.
According to authorities, the route map of the Rs 4,875-crore project is not finalised as the West Bengal Government is not accepting a proposal to relocate 250 shops and a few apartments on a half-a-km stretch in central Kolkata.
The State Government has stuck to its decision even after the Calcutta High Court’s judgment in favour of handing over the land to East-West Metro authorities. The State, instead, asked for realignment of the route, which was struck down by the principal lender, Japan International Cooperation Agency.
“How will ITD work if it does not get the site cleared? Besides, there is no final route plan. So, the company has not been able to work on the stretch between Sealdah Crossover and the proposed Central Station for a long time,” H.K. Sharma, Managing Director, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), told Business Line. KMRC is the executing authority of the project.
Chundee Mookhan, Project Manager (Tunnel), ITD-ITD Cementation, was not available for a comment.
Earlier, Shapoorji Pallonji-promoted Afcons could not start tunnelling work on the Howrah side of the project for over three years. According to sources, the company demanded compensation of nearly Rs 250 crore from the authorities.
Similar problems are also affecting other projects in the city. L&T withdrew equipment and workers from the Dum Dum-Barasat metro project as the State did not cooperate with the Railways to remove encroachments.