A Study conducted as part of the Planning Studio-I (September 2015)
Under the guidance of
Prof.T.M.Vinod Kumar, Former Dean of Studies, SPA, New Delhi,
Mr. Bimal.P, Assistant Professor, & Mr. Shashikanth, Faculty of NIT, Calicut
Ar. Asha Devadas, Ashikha Raoof, Ar.Fathim Rashna Kallingal, Anu Paul, Sai Priya
M.Plan (Urban Planning)- Pursuing
Department of Architecture
National Institute of Technology, Calicut
Urban planning is intricately knit with political systems that influence governance as planning for growth of
society goes through a process, which involves a large number of agencies and a significant number of people of
power. Politics of urban planning deals with delving deep into reasons that cause various influential bodies to act
as a catalyst to initiate or stall schemes and projects initiated by the government for any kind of regional and
urban development. These bodies act on behalf of the people at large and try to remedy the current issues that
affect people. But it can be observed from this study that each sect of such powerful bodies have their own
agendas which are veiled from the general public. Such reticence is brought into light by various media
organizations in the form of news which has emerged as one the most powerful tools to impact the minds of people
and made a significant leap in making voices from every corner of society be heard. Hence it is essential to
understand how certain activities by specific groups of people can affect the government policies and activities
and to seek solutions to resolve the issues in an efficient and simple way.
Keywords: Politics; City Planning; Urban Planning; Light metro; Monorail; Print Media; Governance

1. Introduction
The world urbanisation is increasing at a steep rate due to the various opportunities it offers. This has
led to various transportation related issues such as increasing traffic volume, congestion on roads,
inefficient public transport. New technologies were developed from time to time in order to address
these issues. Metro rails, light metro, monorails, sky bus, trams, bus rapid systems are examples of such
technologies, which are being used worldwide. Kerala is witnessing a steady and steep increase in
urbanisation and is facing transport issues in its major cities, which are Cochin, Calicut and
Trivandrum. After the success of Delhi Metro, the Union Urban Development Ministry decided to
consider the proposal for a metro for Kozhikode city. National Transportation and Research Centre
(NATPAC) together with Kerala Road Fund Board carried out the preliminary feasibility for the project
in December 2008. Based on this report, Bangalore based consultants; M/s. Wilber Smith Associates
was entrusted with the responsibility of conducting further studies based on which proposal for
Monorail was suggested for Kozhikode. However the monorail project had a lone bidder, Bombardier
Transportation Holdings USA Inc., which quoted double the estimated cost of Rs.1,991 crores. Hence
the monorail project was scrapped and in 2010, Light Metro was proposed which would run from
Karipur Airport to Kozhikode Medical College through the heart of the city covering a stretch of 32.6

At the time of inception of Metro for Kozhikode in 2008, the political coalition that was ruling the
Kerala State Government was the Left Democratic Front (LDF). The feasibility study was entrusted to
M/s. Wilber Smith Associates by Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) in 2009 and the report was
submitted in 2010. The KRFB then entrusted the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) to
prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the first phase of the monorail project in March 2012.
During this period, a change of ministry after the elections of 2011, United Democratic Front
Government (UDF) emerged as the ruling Party. The State Cabinet then decided to form a special
purpose vehicle (SPV) to implement monorail projects in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, and
administrative sanction was given in October 2012. After the project was scrapped, Light Metro was
proposed towards the end of 2013. The reasons behind the switch from Monorail to Light Metro have
been unclear and uncanny because the DMRC, headed by Mr. E. Sreedharan, had stated Monorail as a
more viable option for the city of Kozhikode after analysing the PHPDT (peak hour per direction
traffic) for Kozhikode in 2030 would be just 5,475.
Currently, it is seen now that the Kerala cabinet has approved the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of
Light Metro transport schemes proposed for Thiruvanathapuram and Kozhikode, estimated to cost Rs
6,728 crores. However there has been a considerable delay in the implementation of the project, which
has caused a heavy monetary loss. Therefore it is important to study the causes behind such problems
that have risen due to politics at various levels in the governing system, as the entire process of planning
is futile if it doesn’t reach or benefit the public at the right time.
To study and understand the politics of Urban Planning and how they affect overall city development
• To understand the viewpoints of political parties and various stakeholders on one of the Kozhikode
city development project namely Kozhikode Monorail (Kozhikode Light Metro).
• Attempt to device strategies to implement project for public good.
The study was done in four parts, namely background research, literature review, case study, and
analysis and conclusion.
Readings were done for the general understanding of Kerala politics, focusing on various aspects such
as the general behaviour of the governance, the nature of elections and the results, democratic planning
adopted in the state etc.
The various aspects of Monorail and Light metro were studied. Background research on the project
Kozhikode Monorail (Light Metro) was done based on the available data in the Detailed Project Report
(DPR) submitted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (DMRC)
An attempt was made to identify some of the successful city development projects within the country
and around the world, the issues faced due to the politics involved and the strategies adopted to resolve
the same. Along with these, the role of media in (mis)leading the people was also studied.

experimented the first coalition government. The content analysis of these newspapers was done to understand how the media has influenced the project implementation. the analysis results may not be similar in the scenario of governance by another political party. the government was resolved in 1959. But due to political agitation and issues. from the news/data collected from various newspaper dailies. in collecting data from newspaper archives. Due to the limitations of time. put forward. including English newspapers such as the Hindu. Various stakeholders of the project were identified from the collected data and their views and opinion regarding the project were analysed. where in alliance of three parties namely the Congress. (Jacob. though the project was initiated in 2010. and 3 . The second legislative assembly elections in 1960. 2. and Regional language newspapers such as Malayala Manorama. it was under the President’s rule. Praja Socialist Party and the Muslim League formed the government.Kozhikkode Monorail (Light Metro) Timeline of the project was prepared for the time period of Aug 2013 to Aug 2015. Initially when the State was formed in the year 1956. However the conclusion and proposed solutions and suggested strategies could be adopted in Kerala State. Background Research Kerala Political Scenario The State of Kerala represents a unique political culture when compared to the other states in the Indian Union. The advantages and disadvantages of the current system of planning and implementation of city planning projects were detailed within a planner’s perspective. and other articles related to the project. 2004). which has been delayed due to some vague reasons. An attempt was done to propose solutions and suggest strategies for implementation of any city development project within the current scenario. the period before August 2013 has been briefly covered in the introduction part of the project.CASE STUDY. the detailed time-line preparation has been limited to the period of August 2013 to August 2015. The Communist Party of India formed the first elected government of Kerala in 1957. The causes for delay in the project at levels of all the stakeholders and their role in the delay were analysed. irrespective of the ruling political party. The Indian Express. Scope & Limitations This project has been undertaken to study about politics of urban planning in the context of Kerala. Nevertheless. These reasons are being identified and analysed. Mathrubhumi and Deshabhimani. taking a case study of a city development project. These might also vary outside the State. The study is limited to Kozhikode Monorail (Light Metro) project. and Kerala state returned to President’s rule. This was resolved in 1964 due to the no confidence motion against. As politics of planning is studied in the context of one of the city development projects of Kozhikode. Kerala during the governance by a particular political party.

of which the new united front of Communist Party of India (Marxist). experienced emergence of new political alliances. since the subsequent election results are predictable. the CPI.org/) The fifth general elections in 1977. From the studies. the ruling front were a continuation of the previous office. The life of Assembly was extended in three stages thus making the lifespan of 6 years. the UDF and the LDF Government. During the seventh general elections in 1982. the Karshaka Thozhilali Party and the Kerala Socialist Party (KSP) came into power. the then opposition party would be able to plan. and after political realignment. the same political front/alliance came into power twice continuously.gov. From that onwards. The subsequent elections in 1965 had no party with majority votes. the formulation of two major political combines namely the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF). the Muslim League. Though there had been political realignments within the two political fronts. (http://www. In the case of major 4 . Political alignment in Kerala had then undergone a sea change involving a drastic regrouping of major political parties. The third general elections in 1967.2016. 5 months and 18 days. the Communist Party of India (CPI). the KSP. But the government was short-lived and got dissolved in 1979. by the UDF in 1981 and the State fell into the President’s rule in 1982 for the seventh time. the city development projects to be implemented during their reign and preparations could be done accordingly. (http://kerala. it has the disadvantage that the ruling party takes up projects only that could be completed in five years and if at all extend the projects get stalled. That was the first time in Kerala. in advance. The main advantage is that. with an exception of the LDF Government in the eighth assembly that lasted for four years from 1987 to 1991. the RSP and the Kerala Congress. By then the Communist party of India had split into CPI(M) and CPI. The third major political front. starting by the UDF during 1982-1987 and presently by the UDF during 2011. This predictable political behaviour of the State. that too alternatively. Kerala was either ruled by the LDF or the UDF in general. hence the President’s rule continued for two more years.in/). the Muslim League and the Praja Socialist Party. since its formation. This was the first and the last time in the history of Kerala’s assembly elections. and President’s rule was imposed. the Muslim League. the UDF Government assumed office. However. the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP). the RSP. The BJP has not come into power in the state of Kerala till today. Kerala was ruled by the LDF in 1980. After the fourth general elections in 1970. the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged in Kerala during the eighth assembly elections in 1987. In 1969 political realignment took place and the ruling alliance comprised of CPI. the government completing its ruling term of five years.the State came again under the President’s rule. we understand that coalition government started in Kerala from 1960 and in the present scenario two major coalitions namely the LDF and the UDF has been part of the State Governance either as the ruling party or the opposition party. the ruling front consisted of the Indian National Congress.niyamasabha. ruled Kerala state every five years alternatively. has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Democratic Planning (People’s Planning) in Kerala The People’s Planning campaign in the state of Kerala was initiated as part of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. In the study. (Harilal. The role and importance of the Local bodies in the development of the areas were strengthened. by the LDF government. the actual scenario is different. it does.projects. focusing on the devolution of powers to the local level of governance. Various studies have been conducted regarding various aspects of decentralized planning in Kerala. Most of the studies reveal that the people’s planning campaign has improved the then prevalent condition of the state. ‘In Britain a tradition has grown that whichever party wins the elections. Metro rail is the highest in the hierarchy of public transport systems. There have also been studies confronting the bureaucratic capture. evaluation of its impact and experience. and for a clear division between participation and administration to solve the problem of alienation of experts and make the system more accountable. railway lines. represent the interest of the whole nation. though in a democratic country.2013). The Local bodies were given new powers and revived as a functional body. The people belonging to the ruling political party are being favoured. The best approach to strengthen the public transport system is to have better commuting modes of transportation. from that movement. The people’s planning programme in Kerala is under threat of a bureaucratic capture with government orders and guidelines from above subduing the process of participatory planning. the ruling party then and was carried over by the successive ruling parties. mainly to delay the projects so that they get extended to their tenure and they would be able to take the credit. But in Indian democracy this principle is generally not observed and the party that voted in favour is looked after by the government. Monorail Vs Light Metro Most of India’s population living in urban areas has a need for extensive transportation infrastructure like roads. thereby hindering participatory planning and delaying project implementation. Few studies have also suggested improvements in the system. participatory planning should strive to make the maximum use of expertise within the government as well as outside without compromising on the principles of accountability and responsiveness to the people (Harilal. the elected government represents the people. the role of bureaucrats in the development as part of democratic planning etc. the author has suggested for strengthening participatory spaces and restricting the involvement of the bureaucrats in the planning process. (Institute of Urban Transport (India)). We can also see that.’(Mathew. such as. This campaign was initiated in 1996. foot overbridged and cycle tracks. “It is a high-capacity system with a train with four to ten cars and carrying capacity up to 5 . 2000). the opposition party always tries to oppose the proposals.Light Rail Transit System) are essentially graded and separated high capacity public transport systems in urban areas.2013). Instead of replacing experts and absolving them of responsibilities. Monorail (form of MRTS-Mass Rapid Transit System) and metro system (form of LRTS. sidewalks. Even though the power of bureaucrats in the planning process existed before the initiation of the people’s planning campaign in Kerala. they are being involved in the system even now. metro lines for easy transportation.

LRTS has been specially developed to reach out for passengers commuting inside the city and so stoppages are more than MRTS. operate and maintain.” “Monorail is a sleek. The Monorail can be provided for an area with narrow width roads. (Jacobs. This 6 . The general public care about how much of the city development projects had been taken place in the city and are least bothered whether they had been successful or not. The risks involved in these projects may be political. (Jacobs. construction. Operate & Transfer (BOT) model in which the Government has no financial ability and all the risks are operated by BOT operator. even at the local level. It is costly to build. Market and Revenue. which would be a financial burden to the private sector and hence they are forced to leave the project amidst. Legal and Operating risks at pre-development. revenue or debt guarantees or through participation by state or multilateral development institutions. As this reflects in the selection of the Government in the subsequent election. it is the only system which works. Its traction system is typically750 volt DC. The local Government would be involved in various other activities including the socio economic development of the city. Literature Review City Planning around the world Most of the successful city planning projects around the world had the involvement of the Government. the local government is more concerned about increasing the quantity of city development projects under their governance. The financial assistance of the project can be provided in different ways which are: Build. Big city mayors and the interests that elect them are more often attuned to quantity of urban development than to quality or to moderation. The financial risks are best borne by private sector but a substantial government risk is required either through viability gap funding (VGF). high rises and sharp turns where metro cannot be penetrated. There are various reasons for that. Fully through Government funding in which all the funds are mobilized through Government. 1980) They may not be technically qualified in the field of planning. in planning considerably low or even nil.80. as the people considering other credentials elected them. It can be built to efficiently serve areas dominated by high-rises and sharp turns and where metro rail cannot penetrate. it is difficult for a mayor to be concerned in the ‘long run’. In the best of circumstances.” Monorail is relatively used less in the world. City Mayor). The PPP mode is normally a failure in such projects as it is profited only in the long run. LRTS trains are smaller in size and have lower speeds than MRTS. (Jacobs.000 Per Hour per Direction Traffic (PHPDT). (eg. It is known to carry up to 15000 PHPDT. Mumbai has provided the first monorail system in the country and the metro was introduced in many countries including India. It can be configured to run as a driver less system. for corridors with a PHPDT of over 25 to 30 thousand. Nonetheless. 1980). 3. Most big city mayors are not oriented to planning. especially when he holds office for four years and is besieged with problems that require immediate answers. Public Private Partnership (PPP) which involve both the government and private agencies. elevated mass rapid transit system which operates on a single beam (normally concrete) guide way and with rubber tiered wheels. especially to long-range city planning. development and operation stages. Finance. 1980).

an advocate. to anticipate the issues and threats the city would face. and. 1980). another place for people to go. politically articulate (Krumholz & Forester. then in the form of newspapers. (Jacobs. to expect the less involvement of the politicians for the upbringing of the vulnerable population of the city. 1990). By politically articulate. the newspaper reading is one of the habits that the people of Kerala have still not given up. All the major political parties in the State have their own newspapers and hence the public would be aware of the issues from different viewpoints. 1980). the authors (planners) meant. including a place to complain about bad planning. the government in the five years of their run. we can see the media. which is mainly physical. This is done either by exaggerating news or by misinformation. This has to be followed in Kerala state too. which are few among the major reasons for the failure of such projects. especially with the very little knowledge they have in the field. thereby weakening the democratic planning. and hence plan strategies and act accordingly to promote equity-oriented work. These are done as part of their marketing strategy or due to their biased interest. the planning department and its commission acted as a sounding board. would have lots of other issues of the public to be addressed that can be solved only by them. As they worked with community leaders or mayoral advisors. trained and dedicated professional staff with expertise in a number of areas of city planning. (Jacobs. tried to advocate progressive planning as a tool for equity planning. and consultants are appointed for special projects. Kerala’s case is also not different. The media also play an important role in distorting information. with agency staff or specially created single-issue task forces. due to the orientation of their interest to some other factors. But they lack proper implementation strategies and involvement of public. with their strategically approach. City planning under a commission can explore ways of implementing plans on their own. As discussed earlier. Hence looking into the other part of the city development. 1980). The amount of various regional newspapers being circulated daily in Kerala reveals this. In the context of Kerala. organizationally astute. most of all. the Cleveland planners were able to develop an articulate. equity-oriented voice that integrated professional analysis and political initiative (Krumholz & Forester.is applicable in the context of Kerala too. In San Francisco. planners have to be professionally able. playing an important role in shaping the public mind. yet within the framework of the government that establishes the planning department in the first place. commission or a committee under the State planning board does the city development projects. Role of Media Looking back to the history of the country. 1990). an initiator within government. Though the form of media has changed due to the advancement in technology. would be a tough job. we can see that the planner along with his staff of professional planners. The planning department should have highly qualified. To play an effective role in the messy world of urban politics. and they have the liberty to choose or derive their own opinion. (Jacobs. especially in a democratic system. largely public. Considering the great Cleveland experiment (from late 1969 to 1979) as another example of city development project. Misinformation is a barrier to informed public 7 .

But during the peak hours these systems are not able to contain the traffic volume. 8 . Kerala operated as a paradigm to the increasing influence of printed text on the very socio-political scenario proved beyond doubt. 1989). In a similar study. As discussed earlier. The most advanced Communication Based Train Control system (CBTC) had been proposed for Kozhikode Monorail project with eight firms and fifteen halting stations in a stretch of 14. various caste equations of Kerala played the game of making and breaking of a government through the mouthpiece of newspapers. Hence a feasibility study was done by NATPAC to explore various options to run an efficient public transport system. the researcher had studied about the role of press in strengthening the ‘Liberation Movement’ against the first Communist Government of the new Kerala state.participation and an analysis of these barriers help citizens and planners alike to identify. the DPR prepared for the light metro by DMRC is awaiting approval. With an urban population of 40% in the district and is constantly increasing. The Government of Kerala decided to examine the possibility of introducing a Monorail system in the city as it can negotiate very sharp curves and steep gradients and also doesn’t need widening of the roads. We can also see that this particular behaviour of the Kerala newspapers continues till day.Kozhikode Monorail (Light Metro) Introduction Kozhikode. anticipate and overcome such obstacles to a democratic planning process. At present.2 kms from Medical College to Meenchanda in the year 2008. without any major changes. (Forester. But only one company namely M/s. Bombardiar Transportation had come forward with an expression of interest. They entrusted Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to submit a detailed report on the first phase of the project. the project was converted to an elevated MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System) to overcome the ‘lack of interest’ from overseas firms dealing with MRTS. But the proposal for elevated MRTS also scrapped and mooted for LRTS (Light Rail Transit System) to overcome the “cost overrun” for monorail project as it is technically advanced and cheaper compared to the price quoted for financial bid for the Monorail project. The final feasibility report was submitted in the year 2010 by M/s. the boundless impact of press on society (Mathew. commercial and trade centre. Later on due to various reasons. Case Study. 2000). (Mathew. 2000). 2000). At present the private bus system and the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation meet the transportation needs of the city. The project is expected to take off as soon as the DPR is approved. From the very birth of the first communist ministry to its dooms day. an important city of the Malabar region is the third biggest Municipal Corporation in Kerala. 4. It is fast emerging as a prominent educational.Wilber Smith and Associates to Kerala Road Fund Board (KFRB) which is statutory body under Public Works Department (PWD) of Kerala. The Press projected and exaggerated minor incidents and made it sensational (Mathew. Various studies have been conducted to stress the impact of printed media on the Kerala society. the travel demand has increased tremendously. the newspapers operated according to their interest groups. which lead to retendering with some changes in the conditions.

Only one company had bidden the tender.Timeline August 2013. KSRTC. the Government decided to retender the project. 9 . Mananchira. Tender documents were revised for the monorail projects. They needed 8. 2013 November: For the project. Thondayad.58 hectares respectively in Kozhikode. The retendering formalities shall be completed within the already decided time limit. Sreedharan.August 2015 The project timeline has been prepared for the time period of August 2013 to August 2015 by collecting news/data from various newspapers and other related articles. New Bus Stand. Another retendering. Hitachi and M/s. Palayam. Bomardier Transportation came forward with their Expression of Interest.Medical College Hostel. which would cover 14. Medical College. E. Because of participation of only one company in bidding. According to the project report. Mr. the construction works for the metro shall start in mid February 2014. Global tender were again released. Ibrahim Kunjhu. Kottuli. Kallayi. Railway Station.5 hectares and 1. as stated by PWD Minister.K.04 hectares of private land in Thiruvananthapuram while it was 8. and the interest shown by two other companies namely M/s.9 hectares of Government land and 3.5881 crores for both Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode monorail projects. Chevayoor. M/s. Identification of sites for the stations for the proposed monorail has drawn flak from various quarters as the officials failed to hold discussions with the people's representatives and the city Corporation while selecting the locations.72 hectares Government owned land had been taken on lease by KMCL. with change in clauses in tender to attract more companies was to be held in the same month. 2013 December: A Canadian company made site visit and collected the details of the project. The government order for the land acquisition had been issued and expected to complete in two to three months. The estimated cost of construction was Rs. Scomy. 8. which were Japanese and Malaysian companies respectively with some changes in the tender conditions. and Phase 1 shall be completed in 3 years and the phase 2 in another one year. suggested by higher official meetings held in Delhi.2 kilometers. Sreedharan stated that if land acquisition completed. 2013 September: Eight companies expressed interest in bidding the contract of the light metro project and the interested companies were to source themselves part of the expenditure as loan. V. E. Vattakkinar and Meenchanda . a German based company. Panniyankara. namely M/s Bombardier transportation. the cost of project is about 1991 crores. Pushpa. as stated by DMRC.would be constructed in the first phase of the project. 2013 October: DMRC official. Lack of interest of other companies surprised Mr. Allegations have been raised that some of the proposed stations would be a hindrance for the further development projects in the city. as many as 15 monorails stations .

With the Cabinet all set to consider the Light Metro Rail project based on a DPR by DMRC. Pre bid meeting to be held on 28th of January 2014. The DMRC had been involved as either general or executing consultants for some major transport and infrastructure projects in the state. Hyundai Rotem. Three companies. Spanish company M/s. 2014 December: DMRC principal adviser E Sreedharan said in Kozhikode: “Given the traffic projections in Kozhikode.2819 hectares of government land at various locations in the city would be required.1426 and 0. the general consultant for the project. apprehensions were raised that the state may suffer further financial loss in Light Metro after the failed Monorail dreams.000 to 16. It needs 8.728 crores. have expressed their interest for the project. including the unsuccessful Monorail projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.500.47 hectares of private land and an application was available with the Revenue department.58 hectares respectively in Kozhikode. The KMCL has thus been rechristened the Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation (KRTC) and the civil works of the Light Metro will commence within four months once the cabinet approves the DPR. 2014 October: The Kerala Monorail Corporation Ltd (KMCL) board has approved the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the DMRC for introducing the Light Metro Project for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode at a cost of 6.04 hectares of private land in Thiruvananthapuram while it is 8. besides. The land possessed by various government departments shall be taken on lease for a period of 30 years. the project also required 1. There were allegations that DMRC had been charging exorbitant rates for consultancy and execution of mega infrastructure projects in the state. Apart from this.000 passengers.9 hectares of government land and 3. The acquisition process had been entrusted to the District Level Purchase Committee (DLPC). 2014 August: The Kerala Monorail Corporation Ltd (KMCL) and PWD stated that nearly 8.211 hectares of land in possession of the Corporation and KWA. the peak hour peak direction traffic (PHPDT) in 2041 will be around 11.2014 January: Statement by the government and DMRC officials to start the construction works in July 2014. Alstom. was approved by the KMCL at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The DPR prepared by the DMRC. 2014 November: Allegations were put forward by the leader of opposition against the ruling government for cheating people by providing contradictory statements regarding whether the city required monorail or light metro. A Bus Rapid Transmission System (BRTS) can 10 . M/s. It had been pointed out that the monorail projects were scrapped and replaced by Light Metro without conducting enough studies. The state and the Union Governments will bear 20 per cent of the cost each while 50 per cent of the funds will be raised locally and the rest will be met through borrowings.5 hectares and 1. A monorail can handle a PHPDT capacity of 14. Kaffe and M/s. 0.

manage only 6. If the project were not based on PPP model. adding that the Light Metro projects for the two cities should not face the same fate of the monorail projects.000.” There were allegations that DPR for the rail project was prepared by violating guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).Sreedharan was dead against. they said. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had said that opinions on various options. the Finance Department had overruled the detailed project report prepared by the DMRC. That also need to be worked out. however.000. Kozhikode was to bring in private participation to which Mr. another meeting shall be held after 10 days to sort out the issues. Referring to the proposal of public private partnership. Also consultancy for the projects was given without inviting global tender. At the discussion. Giving indications that the Medium Metro could replace the proposed Light Metro projects for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode cities. The report had also asked to make use of the services of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd and NATPAC for feasibility study. The government stated that it would have a cautious approach towards the two light metro projects in the state and approval shall be given to the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the DMRC only after going into all the details. For a Light Metro Rail. the MLAs pointed out that with the project cost might go up further when the project is finally implemented. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy assured that all issues raised by the MLAs at the meeting would be seriously looked into. including ones similar to Kochi Metro project. considering the economic point of view. They had also asked to consider medium metro instead of light metro. Contrary to DMRC’s suggestion for a light metro. the light metros were having no issues. Secondly. In the cities where it was running then. Long and short. added that a final decision in that regard had not been taken till then. had come up for consideration. However.9 m. E. Mr. Chandy said the government wanted the project to be implemented with minimum cost. Ibrahim Kunjhu also said that global tenders shall be called for implementing the project.7 m while for the Kochi metro it’s 2. Going for global tender would have ensured expertise from various agencies. The width of the rail car for light metro project is 2.” 11 . “E Sreedharan is of the opinion that Light Metro is suitable for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode cities. 2015 April: With the State Government and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd failing to reach a consensus on light metro project. The Minister told the Assembly that the first phase of the project would kick-start in 2015 and would be completed by 2020. there are some different opinions also. the Finance Department stuck to its suggestions of going in for a medium metro and also to pursue the project in the PPP model. Hence. The primary demand in the report submitted by the Finance Department to the PWD in connection with the Light Metro project Thiruvananthapuram. the Finance Department had suggested to KMCL to take immediate steps to float tenders to select a ‘consultant’ for the project through an open and transparent international bidding process. the PHPDT requirement should be at least 35. a monorail is the best option. central clearance would be needed. He stated that there were reports that light metro was more feasible than monorail. He.

ruling and opposing. they have been keeping the public informed about politics and current affairs. the ‘Deshabhimani’ newspaper.2015 May: The official sources said that chances to adopt a partial PPP model is on the cards. A high level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also decided to issue administrative sanction of Rs 850 crore for road widening for the light metro projects in the two cities. the statement released by E Sreedharan. the Government had decided to go ahead with the projects. However. revealed that he had no intention of supporting the PPP model for the light metro projects. Content Analysis Of Newspapers From the data/news collected from various newspapers circulated within the State. while the remaining 60 per cent shall be availed as loan. 2015 June: Even as the Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode light metro projects had come under criticism from various corners. The project would be implemented as a joint initiative of both the governments. supporting the CPI(M). it has been observed that the particular nature of the printed media in providing biased opinions in the interest of the supporting political parties is still being continued without any major changes in the system. 2015 July: The Cabinet approved the Detailed Project report (DPR) for Thiruvananthapuram Kozhikode Light Metro rail projects. The land acquisition cost shall be borne by the State government. bureaucrats etc. This is evident from the example. agencies. has reported all the issues of and the protests occurred against the project. He also listed the flaws in pursuing a project like Light metro in the PPP mode. they have mostly concentrated on the inner politics happening between the government. principal advisor to DMRC. to support their biased interests or as part of their marketing strategy. while the other papers have mentioned only the major details of the project. Sreedharan stated that DMRC would not wait for the project anymore. Some of the papers have even tried to mislead the public at times. As per the current agreement. E. Mr. Rather than giving the information on the future of the city. The cost of the civil structure and land would be borne by the DMRC. 12 . in doing so. it was likely that the State and Central governments would independently fund 20 per cent of the total expenses. They have failed in making people aware of the advantages of the project towards city development and how the public would be benefited directly or indirectly. 2015 Aug: DMRC chairman. as they had opened offices at Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikkode for the project and the expense for it around 19lakhs for each month He also added that bureaucrats were trying to mislead the Government from the facts. Installation of systems including operation and maintenance were entrusted to a private party on open tender basis.

which should be adapted. operation etc. though aims at peoples participation failed miserably because of the hierarchy. This famous quote that became the base for most of the democratic values shows the importance of people in the system. execution. It is this category that widely decides the path and future of the project. They range from various governments to the informal sector. The current system. for the people and by the people”. The classification of stakeholders on such a large scale is very difficult as there are overlaps between them. It can be seen that various governmental agencies are the major stakeholders. 13 . investing. decision-making. In this section. even though launched statewide. From the pyramid 1. This level as in pyramid 1 is a major stakeholder. Abraham Lincoln defined Democracy as a “Government from the people. As represented the Central and State Governments and the Governmental agencies are the main stakeholders and they are the major stakeholders. In short any person or organization. the number of stakeholders is very high. pyramid 2 represents the ideal hierarchy. The hierarchy of the stakeholders cannot be formed in the project in question. which is benefited and has an interest on the outcome can be termed as a stakeholder. they play an important role in the success of the project. due to the constraints the hierarchy is an ideal case and might not be the true case. This is because there are different stakeholders working parallel on each stage and the stakeholders cater to multiple levels. a classification was done taking in to consideration the profile of stakeholders. For the purpose of study. are carried out in segments than as a single project. Central and state governments should provide guidance for the proper planning. It can also be seen that the participation Pyramid 1 by Pyramid 2 public and local bodies are minimal in this system.Stakeholders Stakeholders can be defined as anyone who is part of planning. their roles and interests are summarized for easy understanding of the system. The main objective of the first three levels should be to review the progress from time to time. However. Investors and contractor play a very important role as they have a say on budget and quality. Most of the projects. the various stakeholders. the present scenario can be understood. Local self-governing bodies play an important role since they are aware of the limitations in these smaller segments. As mentioned earlier. execution and functioning of the projects rather than being the main decision makers. The light metro being a very large-scale public project. The next level in the hierarchy that is various governmental agencies. The pyramid 2 denotes that the people are the foundation for the system and not the Government.

K. Another important objective of the Central Government is the urban development as the rate of urbanisation is increasing rapidly. The Chief Minister for State – Mr Oomen Chandy 2. The Central Government for the purpose of this study may be classified as before 2014 (UPA) and after 2014 (NDA). the Urban development Ministry suggested and incepted the idea of a Mass Rapid Transit System for Calicut. However. as discussed in the earlier chapters. NDA government took up the office. Muneer 14 . Initially. United Democratic Front (UDF) and Left Democratic Front (LDF) are the present ruling and opposition parties. after independence. The Minister for Panchayats and Social Welfare – Dr M. it can be seen that no single party held two consecutive terms in the assembly. respectively. During the tenure of UPA government. The Minister for Works – Mr V. Ebrahim Kunjhu 4. financial assistance was promised for the metro project. Ruling party (UDF) The ruling party (2011 – 2016) declared the MRTS for Calicut and Trivandrum cities during their first year in office. In the Kerala context. They aim at development in a national level and the improvement of quality of life throughout the country. State Government The State Government consists of the members elected to the State Legislative Assembly. The Minister for Finance and Law – Mr K. It was part of their urban development scheme. The state government have to source the funds. The NDA government. The State Government can be divided as ruling and opposition. after the elections held in 2014. The various stakeholders at the State government (ruling party) level are as listed below 1. Various stands. apart from grant in aids. Each year’s Central budget allots funds for various development programs. They also provided 50% of the expenditure for the feasibility study and detailed project report to be done by DMRC. K. Both the ruling and opposition plays a major role in the development of the state. they are also elected for a period of five years. The differences in the ideologies of the two major parties are reflected in the projects also. The shift in ideologies of the two governments necessitated this classification. It was stated that the project would be carried forward with the help of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).Central Government The Central government is formed by the elected representatives of both the houses. They provide financial assistance in the form of various aids to the State governments during the time of need. A project of such large scale cannot be executed without technical and financial assistance from the Central Government. comments and opinions made by these two are summarized and analysed. Similar to the Central government. though they are in favour of the project has maintained that they could provide only technical assistance and grant in aids. Mani 3.the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha who are elected for a period of five years. M.

Sreedharan was declared as the principal technical advisor and consultant. From the day of inception. S. it was found that they opposed the project. The main interest of the ruling party in the successful completion of the project lays in the influence of the projects in the next election. MLA Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. The main stakeholders at the State government (opposition party) level are as listed below 1.s 3. MLA Pradeep Kumar who is the opposition MLA and currently represents Kozhikode electoral constituency one. Members of Legislative Assembly – 68 no. Also the opposition stated that execution of such a large budget project could lead Kerala to outstanding debts. Leader of the opposition V S Achuthanandan demanded a clarification from the state government on the proposed light metro project in November 2014. CPI(M) District committee After the initial DPR was submitted and approved. The various events during the time period under study have been already described in the timeline. environment degradation and hinder future development.After several meetings. Oommen Chandy and the UDF government were trying to cheat public and also stated that the government's stand was suspicious. It was stated that the project couldn’t be executed since it will include mass eviction. It was also blamed that the project was carried out in a secretive manner. He was further entrusted by the State government with the power of decision making for the successful completion of the project. But after the elections they were seen to maintain a silence on the project. The ruling party has blamed cost overrun and retendering as a major cause for the delay. the ruling side have put forward MRTS as one of their major projects and stated that the projects would be successfully completed in the stipulated time limit. E. a contract was signed with DMRC and Mr. which were organised to protest against the project. They started raising their voice against the delay from July 2015 only. Some important statements made by the opposition are discussed in the following section. The Leader of Opposition – Mr V. the Local bodies were not made aware of the project details and proceedings and there was no public participation. Opposition party (LDF) The opposition party (2011-2016) was on the other side of the court before the elections. It was observed that many members of the opposition had taken part in programs. The initial feasibility studies were conducted by NATPAC when they were in power. the deputy leader for opposition wanted the government to ensure public participation in the project. His demand came after TOI's exposure of the shortcomings in the detailed project report. The projects were show cased as a change of face of the entire State. 15 . Achuthanathan 2. He alleged that Chief minister Mr. stated that the light metro officials were working secretly and the project may hinder the future development of the city. In the later stages there was a shift in their opinion and they started supporting the projects.

The coordination between these agencies is very important for the successful timely completion of the project. Also the budget of the project was so high that it would lead to heavy debt. In the light metro project. of the system. 16 . Since the NPC does not exist anymore. crores had gone up to around Rs5000 crores. From the inception to commission various agencies have been a part of the project. It is a statutory body.000 households had to be evicted. The Finance Secretary heads the department. Government Agencies Government agencies form an integral part. District secretary T P Ramakrishnan stated that they opposed the project since from the feasibility study it was found that around 50. which was estimated as Rs 1991. The department is accountable for the fund allocation as per the budget. State Planning Board The State planning board prepares the perspective plan. District Land Purchase Council The various bureaucrats involved in the projects are mainly from these governmental agencies. These agencies play an important role throughout the life of the project. Department of Finance 2. This lack of coordination was the main cause of delays. which used to work in constant touch with the National Planning Commission (NPC). DMRC 9. the Finance department had raised doubts about the economic feasibility. this department takes care of the financial part of projects. Governmental agencies which have been a part of the project are as listed below. NATPAC 6.The spokesperson for the opposition party. 1. Kerala Mono Rail Corporation 7. the coordination was found to be absolutely minimal. they formulate plans in line with the NITI Ayog guidelines. Department of Finance As the name suggests. Some of these agencies are under the Central government while some are under the State. development plan and the annual plan for the State. This increase could affect the State budget in the coming years. State Planning Board 3. Department of Public Works 4. The economic feasibility of projects are analysed by them to ensure that the projects carried out do not affect the financial stability. A lot of delays are attributed to this high level of bureaucratic involvement. The project budget. Each agency follows its own procedure in a single project. He also stated that the implementation of the project could cause environmental degradation. But most of the times. State Planning board is a part of all major projects carried out through the State budget. Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation 8. Kerala Road Fund Board 5.

Kerala Mono Rail Corporation The Kerala Mono Rail Corporation was formed to ensure successful completion and operation of the project. Kerala Road Fund Board It is the board that takes care of the transportation planning and maintenance of facilities in the state. as it has to run the project successfully during the life of the project. Initially they were very active but in the later stages they have not been seen in the picture.State Planning Board is one of the key stakeholders in the project. Department of Public works The Public works department (PWD) takes care of the execution of most of the infrastructure development in the state. DMRC Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is a company formed by the Central government and the Delhi State government. DMRC has 17 . The Manager Director nominated by the Government of Kerala heads it. They carry out research on various new possibilities in the field of transportation. which is one of the world’s biggest metros successful. The point of conflict arose when the board introduced the idea of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the project. Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation It is another government agency formed initially when Monorail was proposed. The PWD secretary was a member of the panel selected to approve the revised detailed project report for the project. it was rechristened to Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation when the project was converted to light metro instead of Mono rail. The maintenance works during the operational life of the project would be done by PWD. It is the main stakeholder. Initially KRFB was given the charge of conducting reconnaissance and feasibility studies through third party agencies. But due to its inexperience in a very large project of the scale similar to a metro. The first feasibility study for a rapid transit system was done by NATPAC in 2008 in order to find a solution to the commutation issues faced by the state. They suggested a mass rapid transit system over a bus rapid system considering the width of the roads and possibility of road widening. The DMRC was appointed as the technical consultants for the project considering their record of running the Delhi metro. It is a government initiated company. they are part of the technical assistance team to DMRC. This move had raised a lot of questions on the credibility of the board’s decision in the project. It was formed after the feasibility study by M/s Wilber Smith suggested a monorail for the two cities – Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. However. Later on Kerala Mono Rail Corporation was formed. The State Planning board had found the project to be in line with the development plan of the State. The execution of the project had to be given through global tenders. NATPAC NATPAC is a central government agency. which takes care of the transportation needs of the country mainly due to their technical expertise.

Firstly. The land owned by government bodies would be handed over in the given time limit. Out of the 10. The delays occurred mainly due to conflict of interest between various parties involved. Mr. such a system 18 .552 hectares are private land and the rest are owned by various government bodies. they renewed their enthusiasm to take up the issue of Light Metro in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram and began to actively scrutinize the actions of UDF very closely. Advantages and disadvantages of the current system Advantages of having such a systematic process for decision-making are manifold. The council has to acquire the 1. Secondly. Discussion It is imperative to first look at the system of decision-making process involved in formulizing and implementing Kozhikode Light Metro.done the DPR for monorail earlier which was sanctioned. They also demanded more of public participation in the discussions regarding Light Metro. the Kerala Government constituted a three member panel consisting of the Finance Secretary. The party did not raise their voice against the delay initially. delay in Land Acquisition and change in Central Govt. Hindrance from opposition and the failure to reach a consensus between DMRC on one side and Finance department and Planning Board on the other amounted to much delay in the project. The project work was progressing slowly due to strong opposition by LDF party when the UDF Government came into power. which is awaiting approval. but later it can be observed that foreseeing the impending elections in 2016. E. Causes of Delay The delay in the project has occurred at various levels of stake holders through the course of the period selected for study.654 hectares of land to be acquired 1. Rescheduling of concerned agencies due to change in the project form Monorail to Light metro. After the budget allocation was done for Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram Light Metro. policy from funding assistance to grants in aid are few other reasons the project has not worked out in time. District Land Purchase Council The district land purchase council takes care of the land acquisition within a district. PWD Secretary and MD of Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation to review the Detailed Project Report submitted by DMRC after DMRC expressed their disappointment regarding the delay from the part of the government in approving the DPR. Budget issues and tendering/ retendering also caused the project to be pushed ahead.552 hectares of private land. It was alleged by them that there was corruption at various levels in departments handling the project. 5. such a process is well organized in terms of decision-making and implementation. Sreedharan of DMRC is the Chief technical officer and due to his expertise in the field he is given the liberty to decide on various aspects of the project. This is a stage where there would be a probable chance of delay once the DPR is approved. Currently DMRC has prepared the DPR of light metro. There was delay due to lack of coordination at the State government level.

Widespread corruption biased reporting by certain sections of media. The company shall be dedicated to making a plan for formulation. We have already seen that in the case of Metro projects. Hence. It will provide a platform to people to voice their opinions on matters. who would whole-heartedly work to run the company and thereby. implementation. direct and indirect. monitoring and review of the project from the beginning to the end. PPP model would not be effective. in the context of Kerala. The PPP model should be encouraged only wherever suitable. lack of direct public participation. financial assistance from various sources should be made available so that the project works proceed smoothly without any financial glitches.allows making improvisations to the proposed project. city development projects would function better under a company. 6. Public participation. But we have already seen that. Whereas. hence causing delay. Conclusion In the earlier chapters. to its completion as any delay in doing so would cost them heavily. proposal for restructuring the company could be a solution. often when sanction for a project is granted in the ruling term of a particular political party and implementation occurs in the next term having another ruling party. The newspapers report all proceedings regarding the project. which are irrelevant at times. there is considerable time lag between the decisions made and implementation of the project. However. A technical team of highly qualified professionals under a commission developed those projects. should be encouraged at instances where their involvement would enhance the city development. The Social media can play an important role in the decision making process. the project. we have seen that most of the successful city development projects around the world had a system functioning outside the government department. The printed media and the social media should help in creating such awareness to the people. as they will be more aware of the projects and this would help in speeding up the implementation process by cooperating with the government whenever required. It shall be appointed by the State and will have employees. vested interests of bureaucrats. The State. The company shall comprise of a well-qualified technical team as its Board of Directors supported by Board of advisors who would give their expertise on the issues concerning a project. are other factors that affect a project. The system strived to achieve absolute transparency and there is an indirect public participation through the involvement of elected MLAs in the assembly. At the Central level. appointed by the Board of Directors. The public should be made aware of the benefits of such projects. causing delay in the commencement of works. it is not functioning properly due to various reasons. which affect them. physical aspects of the project and modeling the proposal. The opposition parties also raise their doubts and concerns. though the project has a company. Web based data management systems by using GIS can prove to be helpful in terms of keeping demographic records. The committee does not comprise professionals or a team of experts to give their advice on the concerned matters. Centre or both should carry out public projects with lower and slower rate of 19 .

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