CPPR Chairman Dr D Dhanuraj comments in article published in The New Indian Express. He comments “I think the word privatisation will lead to certain misunderstandings among the people. For the development of the hub, the governing council will have to identify a competent party which agrees to implement the project according to DPR. The revision of DPR is crucial here,”

With the Union government having instructed the state to consider the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model for the second phase development of the Vyttila Mobility Hub, the existing detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) will have to be revised. Though the governing body of the Vyttila Mobility Hub Society had met earlier this month, the government is yet to direct KMRL officially to revise DPR. 

According to sources, a decision in this regard is likely to be announced after the local body polls. 
The state has decided to go back to the PPP model for the Vyttila hub’s development in line with the instructions of NITI Aayog, the policy think tank of the Union government, an official said.“In 2015-16, a tender was floated for the second phase development of the mobility hub in the PPP model. But none evinced interest. Later, KMRL was brought in.

The agency decided to seek external borrowings from AFD, a French agency, for which clearance from the Union Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) was necessary. After a presentation before the Ministry, the project was referred to the NITI Aayog, which recommended the PPP model,” the official said.Meanwhile, criticism has risen from many quarters that the decision is a step towards the mobility hub’s privatisation.

“I think the word privatisation will lead to certain misunderstandings among the people. For the development of the hub, the governing council will have to identify a competent party which agrees to implement the project according to DPR. The revision of DPR is crucial here,” said Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) chairman D Dhanuraj. He said the focus should be on developing an office facility/mini IT park in the area instead of a commercial space/shopping complex.

“That will ensure the overall development of the hub along with an increase in ridership to the Metro, Water Metro and other public transport systems. The mobility hub is the integration point for all these modes of transport. As DPR will be revised, the governing body should try to incorporate new plans,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources in KMRL said the agency is yet to receive any official communication from the state government for the revision of the existing DPR. As per the DPR approved by the state cabinet, a `572-crore development plan was supposed to be implemented on 7.23 acres at the hub. New bus terminals, multi-storeyed parking facility, accommodation facilities for crew members of buses, commercial establishments and a hotel were the major components of the second phase development which was planned in an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPS) model.

This news report was published in The New Indian Express on November 24, 2020. Click here to read

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