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Inordinate delay for approval of CMRL Phase-II causing stress on state finances: TN CM tells Centre

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Chennai, Feb 10 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite the approval for the Phase-II of the Chennai Metro Rail project as inordinate delay was causing stress on the state's finances.

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Stalin sought Modi's personal intervention in the matter to expedite the approval for the Rs 63,246 crore project, as was successfully done for the first phase.

Recalling that the Phase-I of the project was successfully implemented as a 50:50 joint venture between the Union Government and Tamil Nadu, he said, "we have approved the Phase-II under the same model, having three more corridors covering 119 km, at Rs 63,246 crore." With the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the NITI Aayog recommendation, Stalin said the funding approvals from Japan International Cooperation Agency, ADB Bank have also been tied up.

"The Union Home Minister (Amit Shah) laid the foundation for Phase-II of CMRL project on November 21, 2020. Our government was eagerly awaiting the approval by the Union government after the announcement for the counterpart funding made in the Budget for 2021-22," he said.

Observing that there was not any progress, despite the issue being taken by him during his meetings with Modi, Stalin said, "I learn that the above proposal is awaiting the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for more than two years now." Stalin, while anticipating the Centre's approval, said his government commenced the works for taking up Phase-II of the project to "ensure completion as per the timelines." "We have been meeting the expenditure from state funds, due to the Union share being held up in the absence of CCEA approval. This has slowed down the works and has also placed a severe stress on state finances," he said.

Stalin wanted the issue to be addressed immediately so that the dream project of people of Chennai, can be implemented within the targeted time. PTI VIJ SS

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