The Union government has asked Kerala to take more initiative in implementing the Centre Sponsored infrastructure Projects (CSPs) to avoid cost over runs that it said now stands at over Rs 6,000 crore. "There is a total cost overrun to the tune of Rs 6,097.57 crore in 21 ongoing central sector projects costing Rs 150 crore and above in the state," Union Minister D V Sadanandana Gowda said here today. He said the Kerala government was not taking much initiative in implementing the CSPs in a time-bound manner and sought its co-operation and support to complete the projects. Gowda, the Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation, was speaking to reporters after a review of the progress of CSPs. He said the total original cost of the 21 projects was Rs 21,774.25 crore.
Due to delay in implementing them, the anticipated cost was now Rs 27,871.82 crore, he said. Stating that the Centre was ready to extend full support to the state, he said if there was any issue such as environment clearance, 'we will take it up'. Some works reviewed were the Kochi Salem LPG pipeline, Cochin LPG Import Terminal project, Kochi Metro Rail Project and projects implemented by the Southern Railways. On the Cochin LPG Import Terminal project coming up at Vyapeen, that is being resisted by local people, he said the state government officials had informed him that all issues connected with the protests have been resolved. "The project implemented by IOC is scheduled to be completed in May 2019', Minister said. Work on Kochi Metro was progressing without any issue, he said. To a question on the proposed Sabari railway line, from Angamally ti Erumelli near Sabarimala, he said the Kerala government had backtracked from its earlier stand of equally sharing the project cost. The government's position now was that they would not bear 50 per cent of the total project cost as there were other ongoing projects on the ground, he said. When completed, the proposed 130-km-long railway line will provide new railway stations to five more municipalities Pala, Thodupuzha, Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam, Perumbavoor and Angamali and 11 more small towns in Kerala. Indicating that the Centre would not shelve the rail link, Gowda said that since the project was a one connected with an important pilgrim centre, the issue would be taken up with the Prime Minister and Union Finance Minister. On the Kochi-Salem pipeline project implemented by BPCL, he said there was certain issues connected with land acquisition in Tamil Nadu. The state had not earmarked land and also not completed the alignment, he said. "I will write to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and the state Chief Secretary to take up the issue and sort it out", he said. More than 400 to 500 heavy trucks that carry LPG would be out of the road once this pipe work was completed', he said. Gowda said the Centre has provided Rs 15 crore to improve the statistical capacity and to creat suitable infrastructure to strengthen the State Statistical system. Accurate, reliable and timely data is very much needed for planning and programme implementation, he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)