Kochi Metro Speeds Past Barriers
After much uncertainties and hype, finally the construction of the Kochi Metro Rail began in 2013. The detailed project report was prepared long ago in 2005 at an estimated budget of `1,800 crore. The project how ever did not get the nod from the Centre.
Meanwhile, the then state government on 2010 allocated `158 crore for the preparatory works of Kochi Metro Rail and roped in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for implementing the preparatory works.
Later, things get much more clarity with the formation of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) the next year and finally the much-awaited nod from the Centre for the project was given in July 2012 for the Kochi Metro Rail project at an estimated cost of `5,182 crore. However, with the DMRC hesitating to undertake the work citing the reason that it may affect the ongoing expansion of Delhi metro rail project, a new controversy unleashed, delaying the project launch further. Later, the state government hold discussions with the Centre and finally succeeded in roping in DMRC for the implementation of the project.
Finally ending all uncertainties, during the first week of 2014 June, the construction of Kochi Metro Rail began. The DPR of the project was modified and the total project cost of the Kochi metro Rail has been revised to `5,537 crore in 2013 escalated by `355 crore.
In November 2013, KMRL also entered into an agreement with Canara Bank for a loan of `1,170 crore for a term of 20 years at an interest rate of 10.80 per cent, with a moratorium of seven years.
The Kochi Metro Rail project requires an external borrowing of about `2,170 crore. KMRL, last year, also entered into an agreement with Agence Française de Développement for an external funding to the tune of nearly `1,500 crore.
As per the principal advisor of DMRC, E Sreedharan, the project is expected to be completed by June 2016.