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DMK rebuts CM’s charge on Metro

The DMK on Monday gave details of the work the party-led government had undertaken for the construction of the Chennai Metro Rail to rebut Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy’s charge that the party had delayed the project.

DMK rebuts CM’s charge on Metro
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The recently inaugurated underground section of the Chennai Metro Rail

Chennai

DMK working president and Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin said such, “Lies were being peddled to overshadow” the role of his father and party president M Karunanidhi in the multi-crore project.

Stalin said the decision on the Chennai Metro project was taken in 2007, when Karunanidhi was the chief minister. The DMK government “commenced the project with a proposal of Rs 14,600 crore”, he said. 

“During that time, I personally oversaw the project and I would like to note that the up and running line from Alandur to Koyambedu and the underground line from Tirumangalam to Nehru Park is the first leg of success for the plan initiated by the DMK government,” he said.

Stalin, who was then the deputy chief minister, said he had visited Tokyo to secure funds from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and that it had “resulted” in a loan agreement under which the Japanese agency had to contribute 59 per cent of the funds for the project. 

Subsequently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of the UPA government had approved the project in January 2009 and a ‘General Consultant’ was appointed by the DMK government the next month, he said in a statement. 

The first tender was floated in February 2009 to set up the upper railway bridge (VIADUCT) for the project from Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar, he said, adding a total of nine tenders were issued by the DMK government for various tasks.

“When this is the reality, I am deeply shocked and amused by the words of the chief minister ... Lies are constantly being peddled with the motive of overshadowing the role of Karunanidhi in initiating his dream project for the city of Chennai,” he added. 

On Sunday, Palanisamy had alleged that the DMK government had delayed the Chennai Metro Rail work. “When the Metro Rail project was approved by the Government of India at a cost of Rs 14,600 crore, the DMK was in power from 2006 to 2011, but spent only Rs 1,143 crore,” he had said after flagging off the Tirumangalam-Nehru Park underground service. 

He had also said that from June 2011 to April 2017, the AIADMK government had spent nearly Rs 13,787 crore on the project. 

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