Sanction Kochi Metro

Date: 
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly protests the stalling of the Kochi Metro Rail Project due to the opposition of the Planning Commission. The government of Kerala had decided to implement the Kochi Metro Project on the lines of the Delhi Metro project where 30 per cent of the project cost was to be borne by the state and Central government on a 50:50 basis and the balance amount to be raised as debt from lending agencies. The detailed project report was prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corp. Ltd (DMRC) and the Union Ministry of Urban Development had approved the project.

It is unfortunate that the Planning Commission has refused to approve the project. The Planning Commission wants a private party brought into the Metro Project on a Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) model. A Planning Commission team led by its Principal Advisor (Infrastructure) which visited Kerala had contested the state government’s project plan and recommended the PPP model on the lines of the now controversial Hyderabad Metro project.

The Hyderabad Metro Project and the way the Planning Commission pushed it is a prime example of how India’s economic policy establishment is promoting private capital even at the cost of public interest. The Planning Commission has been trying to impose the Hyderabad Metro model on to Kerala, which is a prime example of crony capitalism.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands the immediate intervention on the part of the Prime Minister to ensure a speedy approval of the Kochi Metro Rail Project on the basis of the funding pattern suggested by the Government of Kerala.