Union govt yet to give its share for Metro phase II construction

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs have claimed the project to be State-owned, raising doubts among stakeholders about funding.
Representative Image
Representative Image

CHENNAI: The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is yet to receive the Union government’s share of financial assistance, for phase II Metro construction, despite submitting the proposal in the 2018-19 financial year. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs have claimed the project to be State-owned, raising doubts among stakeholders about funding.

According to a RTI reply to Dayanand Krishnan, a GIS consultant and resident of Chitlapakkam, the Housing Ministry on May 17 stated that phase II Metro construction (estimated at the cost of Rs 63,246 crore) was approved and recommended by the TN government for Union government’s assistance. Subsequently, on March 17, 2022, replying to question raised in Lok Sabha, the Ministry stated that the proposal for funds was in various stages of approval and appraisal.

Meanwhile, the same ministry on March 5, 2020, answering to the question raised by South Chennai MP Thamizhachi Thangapandian, clarified that CMRL phase II project was being implemented as a state sector project. Further, in the same response to the MP, it stated that Rs 20,196 crore loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was sanctioned as a state sector project.

Additionally, different components of the project were also posted to Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), New Development Bank (NDB) and World Bank for external assistance as a state sector project.

Subsequently, CMRL has submitted the Preliminary Project Reports to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for Corridor 4 (Lighthouse to Poonamalle). It stated that the DEA’s screening committee approved funding for Corridor 4, and the balance portion of Corridors 3 and 5.

MA Siddique, MD-CMRL, said, “For easy sanctioning of loans from foreign financial institutions, the phase II Metro construction was proposed as a State-owned project. But we’re also expecting financial assistance from the Union government soon.”

When asked if CMRL is facing funds shortage for the Metro construction, MD added, “Besides loan of Rs 20,196 crore from JICA, we’ve also approached other sources for funds.”

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