Planning Commission team favours PPP Model for Kochi Metro

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Kochi, Sep 22 (UNI) A three-member Planning Commission team, which reviewed the proposed Kochi Metro Rail here today, said that it favoured a public private partnership (PPP) model for the project.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Gajendra Haldia, Principal Adviser to the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, said that it was upto the state government to decide whether it wanted to go in for a PPP project or a public sector one.

''But, if our opinion is sought, we will suggest a PPP model,'' he added.

He said if the state government chose the PPP model, the Centre would give a capital subsidy of upto 20 per cent as viability gap funding. In case, it decided to go in for a public sector venture, the Centre would give a grant and a loan of 15 to 20 per cent.

The Planning Commission team, which also comprises Mr S K Saha, Director, and Mr Jitesh John, Research Officer, would be meeting Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan in capital Thiruvananthapuram tomorrow.

The team held a review meeting of the project with senior officials, including District Collector M Beena and Kochi Mayor Mercy Williams here.

Asked about demands made by certain traders on the main MG Road shopping area for a change in the proposed Metro's alignment, the team members said that different people would have different opinions.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC), which had done the feasibility study for the Kochi Metro in 2005, had come up with a route aligment of nearly 25 km at a cost of about Rs 2,200 crore. The delay in the execution of the project has already led to a cost escalation to Rs 3,000 crore, official sources said.

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