Kochi Metro chugs off track

Notwithstanding Metroman E. Sreedharan’s letter to urban development ministry claiming that the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) clause banning consultants from executing projects is not applicable to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the Kerala government is awaiting opinion from Delhi based legal experts to mull ways for 'exemptions'.

It is learnt that the KMRL is not against handing over of the project to DMRC but wanted to avoid the CVC “legal tangle”. “Let the board (meet on October 19) decide,” managing director Elia George said.

Meanwhile, transport minister Aryadan Mohammed expressed the hope that things would turn in favour of the state. Both chief minister Oommen Chandy and Aryadan are expected to hold discussions with DMRC officials ahead of the scheduled board meeting.

“Since DMRC is a government company under the Delhi administration, we hope all disputes can be settled in favour of the state,” Aryadan told DC.

Earlier, irked by in-ordinate delay in handing over Kochi metro project to the DMRC despite the state’s promises,’’ E. Sreedharan had shot off the letter to the urban development ministry.

In the letter, a copy of which has been forwarded to Elias George and Aryadan Muhammed, Sreedharan made it clear that DMRC would back out from the project if the crucial board meet on October 19 failed to take a decision.

“He pointed out that the DMRC was a client of the Kerala government and not KMRL while preparing DPR. Further he cites instances when the CVC did not object to projects being awarded on a nomination basis. For instance the Kolkata metro where Rail ministry PSU RVML was awarded the contract, the Jaipur metro where DMRC was both the consultant and implementing agency,” sources said.

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