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Metro goes to Tripunithura – Times of India

Putting an end to speculations over extending the Kochi Metro rail to Tripunithura, the director board of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL), which met in the city on Monday, approved the extension of the rail network to the temple town in the first phase. However, KMRL authorities said the Pettah-Tripunithura stretch would not be completed along with the Aluva-Pettah stretch and would take more time.

Speaking to the media after the board meeting, KMRL chairman Sudhir Krishna said the extension would cost an additional Rs 323 crore. Tripinuthura will have two stations, near Alliance Junction and SN Junction.

Meanwhile, Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), the French development agency, and KMRL will sign the formal agreement for availing a loan of around Rs 1,500 crore for the Metro project on February 8 in Kochi. Prior to it, AFD officials and representatives of the ministry of economic affairs will sign a credit facility agreement, which is mandatory for any foreign agency to provide loans for projects in the country, on February 7.

The board approved the appointment of quality and safety monitoring consultants for the project. The Deutsche Bank International GmbH, Germany, bagged the contract for safety and quality audit for Rs 36.7 crore. The annual budget for the project for the next financial year and the revised estimate for the current year were also approved. The proposed budget estimate for 2014-15 is Rs 2,398.48 crore and the revised one for 2013-14 is Rs 1,000.97 crore. They also discussed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s retendering of the contract awarded to M/s Era-Ranken for the reach between Ernakulam station and Pettah and reviewed the progress of the project so far.

Following the order by the Green Tribunal of Supreme Court banning sand mining from rivers in the state, the state government has issued an order for mining sand from the areas in the rivers where there is no flow, chief secretary E K Bharat Bhushan said. The decision was taken to meet the huge demand for river sand for the rail project. Restrictions on mining red earth and rock also have been lifted for one more year for the project

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