Thiruvananthapuram: Former Delhi Metro chief E. Sreedharan Thursday confirmed that he will be part of the proposed Rs.5,000 crore Kochi Metro, and said he would be able to finish the project in three years.
Sreedharan said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy wants him to finish the project in three years.
"When I said I can do it in three-and-half years, he wanted it to be done in three years, and I have committed that I will be able to finish it in three years' time. The work would be done by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)," said Sreedharan.
The Kochi Metro Rail project has been in the pipeline for six years and has been planned on a 26-km stretch between Tripunithura and Aluva, which would ease the traffic in Kochi city. The track is to come up above the ground, supported by pillars.
For the past week, there was apprehension in the media that Sreedharan might back out of the project.
"There is no difference of opinion with Sreedharan on the project. He has fully agreed to partner us not only in this but on all infrastructure projects being planned by us," said Chief Minister Chandy after a full board meeting of the State Planning Board here, of which Sreedharan is a full-time member.
Chandy said the state government will have the choice to appoint the managing director of the proposed Kochi Metro Rail Limited, while the central government would nominate the chairman.
"We will now request the centre to nominate Sreedharan as chairman of this project," said Chandy.
The minister in charge of this mega project, Aryadan Mohammed, said: "The funds for this project are not at all going to be an issue and even the Japan International Cooperation Agency has agreed to do the needful if Sreedharan is part of the project."
Sreedharan, 79, came to be called the Metro Man after the Delhi Metro took shape under him. He retired in 2011 after 16 years in the extremely successful project.