The Kerala government Friday opted for two light metro projects after considering two monorails for almost two years.
The proposed light metro, which is now planned to run from Technocity to Karamana, would be around 22.2 km. The other metro at Kozhikode would be a 14.2-km stretch from Meenchantha to Medical College.
"We had a meeting today (Friday) and a new company called Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation (KRTC) will be formed for the light metro project. We accepted the detailed project report of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for going ahead with the two light metro projects," Public Works Minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju told reporters here.
The projects are expected to be completed in 2021 and would cost Rs.6,728 crore.
Principal Advisor to DMRC and State Planning Board member E. Sreedharan said that the decision to opt for light metro was taken after it was found out that there was just one company which agreed to do the monorail project.
"When it costs around Rs.340 crore for one kilometre of monorail, it would cost on an average Rs.156 crore for one kilometre of light metro," said Sreedharan.
"The alignment and the number of stations at both these projects would remain as the same as that of monorail project. We will very soon call a meeting of leading light metro companies to finalise the specifications and we are hopeful that once everything is cleared, in four months the civil works at these two places would begin," added Sreedharan.
He also pointed out that the state and Centre would chip in with 20 percent each and the rest would come from funding agencies.
Sreedharan, who is overseeing the work of the 24 km long Kochi Metro, said that work was progressing as expected and the metro would be functional in 18 km as planned. Another 14 months more is left for the completion of the Kochi Metro.
"There have been issues with regards to land acquisition in the six kms stretch at Kochi and hence that portion might be delayed," said Sreedharan.