The ambitious Guwahati metro rail project announced by the previous Congress government may not take off immediately.
Guwahati development department minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday informed the House that a lot of mandatory preliminary work has not been considered yet. “I’m not hopeful of the project. It will not happen soon. We do not even have the traffic movement study. In the third or fourth year of our tenure, we may go to the approval stage,” Sarma told the house in reply to a question by AGP’s Ramendra Narayan Kalita during zero hour.
The previous government had laid the foundation and also prepared a detailed project report but did not send it to the Centre for approval.
“The previous government had awarded a Rs 6-crore contract to RITES to prepare the DPR, which was approved only by the state cabinet. For any metro rail project, we have to get the Centre’s approval with traffic movement study. But in this case, it was not done and the state went ahead with laying the foundation,” he said.
Sharma added that the DPR prepared for Guwahati Metro by the Congress government proposed to construct a metro rail network at an estimated cost of Rs 20,000 crore of which Rs 4,000 crore would be spent by the state government. “In the recent cabinet meeting, we discussed that we cannot spend that amount. So, we decided to trim the network to have only the Dharapur-Narengi route and to study the possibility to have another track from the proposed AIIMS site to Jalukbari,” he added.
He also charged the previous Congress government with going ahead with the project by spending about Rs 70 lakh on the foundation laying function without even having the loan sanctioned by the Centre or making alternate financial arrangements.