The BJP Thursday demanded an audit by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) into the cost escalation in Mumbai Metro project. BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said he had met chief secretary J S Saharia seeking CAG audit to ascertain the real cost of the project. “The government seems to have turned a blind eye to the cost overrun in the project, which, we believe, is to the tune of 300 per cent.”
Sources in the CMO said the matter would be looked into.
BJP has accused the state of giving huge concessions, including land for free, for the project in which Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infra holds 69 per cent stake in MMOPL, the executing agency. MMRDA holds 26 per cent stake and while the remainder is held by Veolia Transport RATP Asia.
An MMOPL spokesperson said, “We are open to scrutiny as may be applicable under relevant laws. The delay was due to inability of MMRDA in providing 100 per cent unencumbered right of way (ROW) and committed access to the metro corridor by September 2007. As on date, 100 per cent unencumbered ROW is yet to be provided to MMOPL. In the interest of people, MMOPL started execution with limited unencumbered rights, difficult underground utilities and narrow access to the corridor, which resulted in alterations in design. Steep increase in economic indices, inflation and exchange rates led to cost escalation.”