If Chennai and Bangalore – sorry, Bengaluru – have the privilege of central government’s participation for the construction of Metro links, why should Kolkata be deprived of that? So inquired Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, the I&B minister at the center, in today’s Cabinet meeting in Delhi.
The Cabinet approved the East-West Metro project by permitting formation of SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) for it but not before some stiff opposition from Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson, could be overcome.
The nod for SPV comes over a year since the talk started, which explains why the government projects almost always suffer cost overruns.
The East-West Metro will be the first in the country that will run under a river, River Hooghly. In fact the existing Metro from Dum Dum to Tollygunge – now being extended to Garia at the southern end, and being planned for extension to Dakhshineswar at the northern end – has been the first ever in India.
Mr. Dasmunsi ears many hats. He is the Congress Party chief in Bengal, and also the chief of AIFF (All India Football Federation), the controlling body of football in the country.
There are doubts as to how he can do all the works with equal aplomb, but in India examples are many of political persons occupying several posts of great importance, in the process failing to do justice to any of them.
On this count at least, that is the approval of E-W Metro, Mr. Dasmunsi can be thanked for lending his arguments in favor of the project, and seeing its ultimate approval.