JICA, CMRL finish 1st round talks on Metro Rail phase II

The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) completed preliminary talks with Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) regarding implementation of phase – II of the metro rail project in the city on Monday.
JICA, CMRL finish 1st round talks on Metro Rail phase II
Representative image

Chennai

A team of JICA representatives was in the city since October 23 discussing the proposed in phase II of the Metro project which would add another 108 km to the existing 45 km network comprising 32 stations. 
CMRL officials who confirmed the conclusion of the week-long discussion at their headquarters on Monday evening, told DT Next that the talks focused on the modalities of the funding and several other key components of the project. JICA would provide 60% funds and the rest would be shared equally by the Centre and Tamil Nadu government. The CMRL has planned three corridors, Madhavaram – Siruseri (45.77 km), Madhavaram- Sholinganallur (44.66km) and CMBT - Light House (17.12 km) to be implemented at an estimated cost of around Rs 44,000 crore as part of its plans for Phase II of the Metro Rail section.   
JICA may not fund all components of CMRL’s Phase II
A senior CMRL officer privy to the development confirmed the conclusion of the discussions on Monday evening and said the Japanese funding agency has expressed some reservations to fund all components of the projects. 
“JICA only wants to fund one-and-a-half (phase) of the project. We are pushing for all components. Talks are at preliminary level. The discussions will continue,” the officer said, refusing to confirm as to which corridor JICA was not interested. Originally, the CMRL had planned to sign a memorandum of understanding with JICA for the phase II of the project sometime in March 2017. 
Unlike in phase I, nearly 80 per cent of the phase-II has been planned to run underground, which would reduce the cost incurred by the CMRL on land acquisition. Also, CMRL has reduced the size of the underground stations by nearly 30 per cent through space optimisation, which includes use of space-efficient equipment and shifting of auxiliary systems, like electrical, communication and control networks to the surface. 
The CMRL has planned to cut down execution cost by using private land on a temporary basis to store construction equipment and permanently acquire land for entry and exit points of underground stations.

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