Kerala State cabinet allocates INR 92 Crore for Kochi Metro Rail

तिरूवनंतपुरम Thiruvananthapuram (TVC): Giving temporary relief to the cash-strapped Metro rail project, the state government will pump in Rs 92 crore into the project. A committee, headed by chief secretary, held a meeting in Thiruvananthapuram recently to give the final nod to allocate Rs 42 crore for land acquisition and Rs 50 crore as the state government’s equity for the project.

Officials with Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) said that they would soon disburse the amount for land acquisition. They said that it was now only a matter of completing procedures.

“We will be able to use the amount for land acquisition. We have to also clear the bills of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC),” KMRL sources said.

The land acquisition for Metro rail was facing difficulties due to shortage of funds. To compensate landowners whose lands have already been acquired, KMRL requires around Rs 250 crore urgently. “We are exploring ways to mobilize funds for the purpose. We will ensure that the work is not affected due to financial problems,” the source said.

However, the widening of Vyttila-Pettah Road, the main impediment for the construction of Metro along the stretch, has not started yet. Though the public works department (PWD) was to widen the road, they backed out due to financial problems.

For acquiring land to widen the stretch, around Rs 220 crore is required. The total cost of the widening, including land acquisition, would come to around Rs 450 crore.

The Centre had allotted us Rs 232 crore towards equity and Rs 66 crore as subordinate debt, a loan which has to be repaid. But the state government, which also should have made similar contribution, has given less than Rs 100 crore so far.