Unlike UT Admn, Punjab & Haryana not opposed to PPP model for metrohttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/unlike-ut-admn-punjab-haryana-not-opposed-to-ppp-model-for-metro/

Unlike UT Admn, Punjab & Haryana not opposed to PPP model for metro

in turn, has held up progress on the Chandigarh Metro rail.

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Marking for Metro Project on the dividing road between Sector 21 and 22, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. (Source: Express photo)

By:Vivek Gupta

Contrary to the Chandigarh Administration’s stand, Punjab and Haryana have not opposed taking up of the proposed Chandigarh Metro project in public-private partnership in their recent responses to the revised draft MoU, which have been submitted to the central government through the local administration.

Both states have recommended only minor amendments in the MoU, which was circulated a-year-and-half ago for the purpose of setting up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the project.

The delay in finalisation of the MoU has delayed the formation of the SPV which, in turn, has held up progress on the Chandigarh Metro rail project which will extend to Mohali and Panchkula.

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Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana are equal stakeholders in the project and all have agreed to name the SPV as the Greater Chandigarh Transport Corporation (GCTC).

In the initial draft MoU, which was circulated to all stakeholders in 2012, it was proposed that the Chandigarh Metro project would  be undertaken with government funding only.

However, in the middle of 2013, the government revised the draft and proposed that funding should be done through PPP.

While Chandigarh has already made its stand clear that it is against undertaking the project through PPP, Punjab and Haryana have made no such objection in their recent responses to the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD).

Haryana submitted its response in September last year, while the response of the Punjab government came last month after several reminders from both by local administration and the central government. The only suggestion of the two states is that the managing director of the SPV should be appointed by the central government in consultation with the board of directors, who will be nominated by all stakeholders.

The revised draft MoU, on the other hand, proposes that the MD of the SPV will be the nominee of the central government, but it will be appointed by the board of directors.

“Now when all three have made their stand on the MoU clear, a high level meeting in the ministry is expected soon to discuss the future of the project. Let’s see what will be the viewpoint of the central government on the responses submitted by Chandigarh and the two states,” said an official.

Meanwhile, there is a growing view among senior officials that the Chandigarh Metro project is not viable, although this has not been
officially articulated.

In a recent press meet, Adviser to Administrator Vijay Dev had told media that the administration had revived discussion with central government on the project.