DMRC face saver for government

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The state government has partially saved its face by getting both the Delhi government and the Union Urban Development ministry agree to have Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) associate with the Kochi Metro project, during chief minister Oommen Chandy’s meeting in Delhi on Friday.

But the state’s major demand that Metroman E. Sreedharan run the show appears to have taken a back seat and with it, the claim that DMRC would take up the projects, if given on a nomination or turnkey basis. This was rejected at Friday's meeting.

Sources in DMRC said the corporation would play the role of a part-time consultant giving technical advice and helping Kochi Metro Rail Ltd in readying the tender papers.

Details of these would be worked out by the committee comprising the chief secretaries of Kerala and Delhi and officials of the Union Urban Development ministry. The matter would be taken up during the proposed board meeting of KMRL on December 4.

The Union ministry had earlier clarified that DMRC was not willing to commit any finance as well as manpower resources for projects undertaken in the state.

The Union government has through its latest move overcome contentious issues like seeking clearance from the Central Vigilance Commission to grant the project to DMRC and also find ways to convince the funding agency Japan International Co-operation Agency not to stick to its guideline of international tender.

Sources both in DMRC and KMRL denied rumours that Union Urban Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had requested the state delegation that visited him to consider making Sreedharan the managing director of KMRL.

While the next DMRC board meeting will look at the limited role it has to play in the 25-km metro without hindrance to the 400-km Delhi project, the KMRL board is expected to give a shape to the strategies for taking forward the city project.

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