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Srei Infra-led consortium bags Rs 6,000cr Bengal LRT project

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata 

A Srei Infrastructure Finance-led consortium has bagged the Rs 6,000 crore Light Rail Transit System (LRT), an air-conditioned elevated mass trasport, connecting Kolkata's southern suburbs with the northern fringes via the central business district.

Launching the project to be developed by a consortium led by Srei Infrastructure Ltd , West Bengal chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, said that another flagship infrastructure project of the state government, the Rs 4,676 crore East West Metro Rail project, would be announced formally on February 22. The state governement has also planned for a 46 kilometer four-lane elevated Ring Road across the city costing around Rs 6,000 crore.

The LRT project has been listed under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission(JNNURM).

It would cover a 40 kilometer stretch, between Joka in the extreme south to

Barrakpore in the northern fringes and would have two corridors, Joka-Esplanade and the Esplanade-Barrackpore sectors. The project would be executed in two phases and is expected to be completed within four to five years from commencement of construction.

A special purpose vehicle named Kolkata Mass Rapid Transit private Ltd was floated yesterday with Srei as the lead partner along with Czech-based Amex International as the technology partner and West Bengal Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. "The stakes are yet to be decided.", informed Hemant Kanoria, chairman and managing director, Srei.

Amex International is unlikely to pick up an equity stake in the SPV. "We would supply the technology and equipment and also be in charge of the maintenance of the system for the first two years.", said A Chatterjee, managing direactor of Amex.

In all, approximately 40 trains could run on the LRT at an average speed of 40 kilometers per hour and the distance between Barrackpore to Kolkata would be covered in 90 minutes. The LRT will have 37 stations at important points and the East West Metro and the LRT would meet at Sealdah in central Kolkata.

"Consulting Engineering Services has been asked to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) that would also include figuring out a system by which passengers could seamlessly pass from the LRT to the new Metro link.", Bhattacharjee said at the launch. The trains would carry around 1.2 lakh passengers in the beginning and later it could be scaled uo to 4.5 lakh passengers, the chief minister informed.

The DPR is expected by September this year after which the project would go to JNNURM for viability gap funding.

Srei's share prices shot up 14.62 per cent during the day the stocks ended at Rs 37.25 with a peak value of Rs 46.90, after the company posted a notice in the Bombay Stock Exchange announcing today's launch.

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First Published: Thu, February 19 2009. 00:15 IST