labels: metro rail corporation, kerala state industrial development corporation, konkan railway corporation, transportation
Metro Rail’s proposal to KSIDC fails to get desired resultsnews
James Paul
14 October 2002

Kochi: The Metro Rail Corporation’s second attempt to sell yet another proposal to ease Kochi’s traffic woes has failed to produce any immediate positive results.

Sources say the Metro’s liaison officer who met Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) top brass with the new project has been asked to wait till the state cabinet gives its views on the Skybus project of the Konkan Railway Corporation (KRC).

Clearly stating that the government is preferring Skybus to the Metro rail, after the latter was found non-feasible given Kochi’s geography, KSIDC had invited KRC to give a full presentation on the Skybus project before the cabinet in the third week of this month.

“Once the cabinet approves the concept, we will shape up the report for presenting it before the Global Investors' Meet (GIM),” a KSIDC officer tells domain-b. “KRC has already given the detailed project report, complete with the certification of the credit rating agency ICRA, to the Kerala state government,” the sources add.

Investment and Credit Rating Agency (ICRA) has projected 15 to 16 per cent internal rate of return, which is very positive. Though ICRA rating itself is enough to go ahead, KSIDC is submitting the project for another round of scrutiny by an independent agency.

Two leading consultancies, Infrastructure Leasing Finance Services and Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation, have completed preliminary examination of the project report. “We will have to entrust the task of scrutiny with one of them. The consultancy will analyse the project threadbare for technical and financial feasibility,” the KSIDC official adds.

The agency may take a month to complete the scrutiny. Till then KSIDC and KRC will have to delay their efforts to constitute a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for mounting the project. “We are waiting for KSIDC’s reply. The next step can be taken only after the Kerala government gets back to us,” says KRC managing director B Rajaram.

The sources, however, express confidence that the exercise will be over by 1 5 November 2002. “This will give us enough time to sketch the SPV. The reason for involving an independent agency to study the report is to insulate it from any possible allegations.”


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Metro Rail’s proposal to KSIDC fails to get desired results