With Mukul Roy's exit from Rail Bhavan, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee seems to be in a hurry to get all the state's dues cleared by the railways.
This is evident in the fact that West Bengal government has written to ministry of railways to refund its investment of Rs 146.50 crore in East-West metro project, which railways agreed to take over from the state during Roy's regime.
According to officials, a letter has already been sent to railway ministry asking for the refund. Incidentally, state has gone slow on releasing fund for the project, as the stake hand over talks were on for the last one year. While urban development ministry has earmarked Rs 234 crore for the project, state's contribution has been only 146.50 crore.
Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), a joint venture between the Union urban development ministry and the West Bengal government, is developing the East-West metro project that will connect Salt Lake to Howrah. Both West Bengal government and the Union urban development ministry originally had 30 per cent and 25 per cent stake in KMRC, respectively, while the balance 45 per cent of the project cost was taken as loan from the Japanese Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC).
There was in-principle understanding last year that both the state government and the union urban development ministry will hand over their stakes in the project to the railway ministry. Later, following Mamata Banerjee's request Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured cabinet approval for the stake hand over.