Thiruvananthapuram: Scotching all rumours, Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath Monday said that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation would take up the work of Kochi Metro. However, he added, it is up to the state government and the KMRL to decide how to utilize the service of E Sreedharan, its consultant and former chairman, in the project.
Power and Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed had the other told the Assembly in categorical terms that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan will be in charge of the Kochi Metro rail project. “It was a state cabinet decision and the propaganda to the contrary is not at all true,” replied Aryadan when Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan raised the charge of moves to eject Sreedharan and team from the project.
Achuthanandan had lashed out at the Kerala government for not taking DMRC and Sreedharan into confidence with regard to the Rs. 5000 crore rail project.
He alleged that government was playing 'hide-and-seek' on the project and was creating an 'uncertain situation'.
He wondered if government had permitted KMRL Managing Director, Tom Jose, to go to Bangalore for discussions on the project and alleged that Mr Jose was a person who took 'commissions' while Mr Sreedharan was not like that.
Meanwhile, the DMRC has started test-piling at the KSRTC parking ground in Karikkamurry to see if conditions are right for setting up pillars that will support the elevated rail.
“We are conducting the test piling to facilitate the actual work on sites for setting up the pillars that will support the viaducts. The rig and other machinery were brought to the KSRTC parking ground and the testing will be done in the coming days,” an official said.
Initially, the DMRC will go for 2m diameter rig that will be 50 meters deep. If it is successful and has enough strength, it will be used in the actual work. The via-ducts will be similar to those of the Airport Express Line of the Delhi metro.
So far, DMRC has been focusing on preliminary works like North RoB reconstruction and Salim Raja Flyover. With Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath clarifying the matter on Monday, it’s almost certain now that DMRC will be assigned the main work.
A high-level meeting to discuss the Kochi metro project will be held on July 10 which will be attended by the DMRC’s Mr Sreedharan and top KMRL and state government representatives.