The Metro Railway authorities today said funds will not be a constraint for ongoing projects, as it has been allotted Rs 180.36 crore more in the 2018-19 Union Budget than the current fiscal.
Stating that most of the ongoing projects have been sanctioned higher funds compared to 2017-18, Metro Railway general manager Ajay Vijayvargiya said a total of Rs 830.36 crore were allotted in the FY19 Budget, which stood at Rs 650 crore in FY18.
"With regard to East West Metro, we could spend only Rs 900 crore till January 2018, out of the Rs 1,937 crore allotted for 2017-18 owing to various reasons beyond the control of Metro Railway," he said.
He said that while Archaeological Survey of India's (ASI) clearance for construction under heritage buildings in the Dalhousie area came late, there was also a delay in getting approval for work in Defence-owned land in adjoining Esplanade.
The East West Metro was allotted Rs 1,100 crore for 2018-19, while the outlay for 2017-18 was Rs 1,937 crore.
A senior Metro Railway official said East West is likely to have a leftover fund of Rs 400 crore from the current outlay, which will take the total funds available for 2018-19 to Rs 1,500 crore.
"The Railway ministry has assured that funds will not be a problem for the East West Metro project," Vijayvargiya asserted, adding that more money will be pumped in if the available funds are exhausted.
The ruling Trinamool Congress and some Opposition parties in West Bengal had protested the reduction in Budgetary allocation for the East West Metro project, alleging that it was a deliberate act to delay it.
"Work is progressing very well and the entire project is likely to be completed within two years from now," Vijayvargiya said.
The East West Metro project of Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRCL), spanning a 16.6-km length from Sector V in Salt Lake city to Howrah Maidan across river Hooghly, has been witness to prolonged delays for various reasons from clearances to land acquisition issues.
Completion of construction of tunnels under river Hooghly in June 2017 was a major milestone for the project, which will have a 10.8-km underground corridor while the rest would be elevated section.
The Metro GM said that passenger services from Sector V to Salt Lake Stadium, which is part of Phase I of East West Metro, are likely to be introduced by Durga Puja this year.
The safety trials may take another two months, following which passenger services are likely to be introduced up to Phoolbagan from Sector V.
Vijayvargiya said Rs 344 crore has been allotted for the Dum Dum Airport-New Garia project in 2018-19, a hike of Rs 94 crore from the current fiscal, while the Joka-BBD Bag route has been allotted Rs 169.36 crore for the coming financial year from Rs 50 crore in 2017-18.
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