No foreign loans for light metro project in Trivandrum and Kozhikode

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have reportedly withdrawn from a previous decision to seek foreign loans for the implementation of Light metro project in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode cities.

E. Sreedharan, the key person behind Delhi Metro, has informed Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, MPs and MLAs from the state about the possibility of commissioning the project without foreign funds.

Possibility to source funds internally for light metro

Sreedharan has informed the officials that it is possible to find funds from the Kerala infrastructure investment fund board. The upcoming cabinet meeting will discuss and take appropriate action regarding the proposals put forward by Sreedharan.

metro project in Trivandrum and Kozhikode
metro project in Trivandrum and Kozhikode

During his meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan, Sreedharan has informed him that it is possible to find funds for the light metro project without any foreign funds. Meanwhile, Vijayan has already appraised Sreedharan about the difficulties in obtaining the required funds via loans.

In addition to budget allocation, funds can be sourced from the infrastructure board, state-owned financial companies, and government bonds. The government is planning to collect Rs. 50000 crore through various methods, which can be used for the implementation of Light metro project.

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Overall cost for light metro

The overall total cost for light metro accounts to 6728 crores. Previously, around 50 percent of funds were sought from a Japanese financial company by the Congress-ruled government.

Pending flyover work

Before starting the work for light metro, Sreedharan has informed Government to give sanction to complete the work of flyovers in certain parts of Trivandrum. This includes congested places like Thampanoor, Sreekariyam, and Ulloor.

In the meantime, Sreedharan has already submitted the prototype of flyovers for three places except Thampanoor before the Government. DMRC will soon finalize the layouts for the remaining flyover in Thampanoor, which is the heavily congested place in Trivandrum.

This is due to the presence of railway station and state bus terminal. It remains to be seen how a flyover will be constructed there. The expected cost for the proposed four flyover amounts to Rs. 399 crore.

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The light metro project was conceived after starting the work of Kochi Metro during the previous Congress rule. However, the light metro project was partially shelved due to technical difficulties and fund related constraints.

When the new left government assumed office in May 2016, the Chief Minister Vijayan took a key interest to proceed forward with the project since it will reduce traffic in the long run.