The Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode metro rail projects may not come to fruition soon due to the state government's indifference towards advancing them, according to a top government official.
The Urban Mass Transit Co (UMTC) Ltd is yet to complete and submit its study on selecting appropriate models for two cities to Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL). The original deadline for report submission was 31 March 2023
The official further stated that the government believes the proposed projects would not be financially viable for the two cities, citing the loss incurred by Kochi Metro.
Another study is being conducted by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) to determine a feasible metro rail despite a previous study being conducted.
Other transportation options will be reviewed for the two cities, as per another official, reports The New Indian Express.
The delay in the metro project has also affected the proposed flyover at Sreekaryam, Thiruvananthapuram. The tender process and demolition of shops for road widening have been put on hold.
Amidst Kochi Metro's lack of profitability, an official suggests that constructing a metro in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode would be pointless and expensive due to existing public transportation.
Additionally, the government is experiencing financial difficulties.
However, 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan, responsible for Kochi Metro, believes that metro rail projects are necessary for these cities despite opposition.
Sreedharan argues that this would be a waste of resources as no metro rail project in the world is profitable. He also notes that Kochi Metro's losses cannot be used as a valid excuse given that even the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is operating at a loss.
KMRL prepared for project implementation after the Centre requested a single company to manage all metro projects in the state.
The Union government proposed a metro-lite model instead of a light metro, but the state government was hesitant. This was due to the experimental nature of metro-lite, as it had not been implemented anywhere in the country.
KMRL managing director, Loknath Behera, has contacted district collectors and mayors for help in finishing the project, requesting support and assistance.
Following the report's submission, a comprehensive project report (DPR) will be created and forwarded to the state and Union authorities for approval. Underground stretches are also part of the proposal for Thiruvananthapuram.
According to a KMRL official, an interim report has been submitted by UMTC and a high-level meeting is scheduled at the end of this month in Thiruvananthapuram. Finalisation of projects for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode will take place along with the initiation of the tender proceedings for the Sreekaryam flyover.
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