Chandigarh (CDG): The Centre has once again sent a redrafted memorandum of understanding (MoU) to the UT administration to be signed by the three stakeholders — Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana — for finalising the metro rail project in the city.
This is the second time the Union Ministry of Urban Development has sent a revised MoU for the ambitious project. To set the project rolling, the ministry has directed the stakeholders to sign the document and send it back at the earliest.
Confirming the development, UT Finance Secretary Sarvjit Singh said: “We have received the MoU and will be forwarding it to all stakeholders.”
A senior official in the administration said that the UT Administrator, Kaptan Singh Solanki, will take the final call on the issue. The MoU sent to the UT has still kept the option of publicprivate partnership (PPP) open. It mentions that all stakeholders should consider different modes, including PPP.
Former UT Administrator Shivraj Patil was not in the favour of PPP for the project, citing delays in all major projects being carried out in the country under this mode.
The metro rail project is proposed in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar, with the cost to be shared by the Centre, UT administration, Punjab and Haryana equally. Sources in the administration said generally the Centre contributes 50% of the funds in metro rail projects.
The project is running behind schedule by more than two years. The work on the first corridor covering a distance of 12.49 kilometre was expected to begin in April 2013 and get operational by 2018. The corridor-1 stretches from the Capitol Complex, Sector 1, in Chandigarh to Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan in SAS Nagar.
The delay in execution of the project will result in cost escalation. According to the detailed project report (DPR), total estimated cost of the first corridor, as on January 2012, was worked out to be Rs 3,832 crore. According to sources, the cost of project will escalate manifold as a considerable chunk of the route in Chandigarh will be underground.
The total length of metro project covering Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar is 37.57 km with estimated cost of Rs 10,900 crore, to be shared by the Centre, UT, Punjab and Haryana equally. Local MP Kirron Kher has been terming the project “commercially unviable”.