Rajasthan News

CM Vasundhara Raje take on Metro, refinery projects necessity

by RajasthanDirect
Jan 30, 2014

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje take on previous Ashok Gehlot government on Wednesday. CM Raje questions on two major projects – Jaipur Metro and Barmer refinery about their viability and necessity.

In her maiden speech in the assembly after being sworn in as chief minister last month, Raje, who was thanking governor Margaret Alva for her speech, questioned the basic need for launching these projects and alleged that these two played no role in the development of the state. Raje’s harsh take on the two projects has sparked off speculations over the fate of the two projects, both of which are presently under review by her government.

She began with the Jaipur Metro, the first phase of which is ready while the government is reviewing the second phase. Raje claimed that during her first term as chief minister, the then government had approached E Sreedharan about initiating the project in Jaipur. “You (Congress) claim Metro is your idea. We had approached the same E Sreedharan and he had categorically said that Metro in Jaipur was economically unviable till 2025,” she said.

Raje added that despite this, the Congress went ahead and launched the project, the expected expenditure for which was Rs 11,732 crore. “The previous government spent Rs 3,400 crore as part of the first phase which covers a mere 11 kilometre. Rs 3,400 crores for 11 km? In the same amount, the state could have had 110 new flyovers and 5,000 km road linkage,” she said. Raje also accused Ashok Gehlot government of failing to safeguard the heritage look of Jaipur. “The Metro’s line has spoilt the skyline of the city,” she alleged.

She further lashed out at the previous government for choosing to utilise its own resources for the Metro at a time when everywhere else the Metro was being launched under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. “The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) is seldom in the red but thanks to the fact that funds from JDA are being diverted for the Metro, the authority is in the red now. Similarly, the Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals (RSMM), which was always making huge profits, now faces a financial crunch because of the same reason,” she said.

Drifting to the Barmer refinery, she said that even the smallest partnerships are done to derive maximum benefits. “Why would anybody get into a partnership where the investments are higher than other partners and share of profit lower? The Barmer refinery is just that. The Rajasthan state is definitely not a beneficiary in the Barmer refinery,” said Raje.

Raje said that the previous government and HPCL entered into an agreement where HPCL will have 74% of equity share in the company while Rajasthan will have 26% of stake. “The state has offered to provide land and an interest-free Rs 4,000 crore loan per annum. The land and oil too belongs to the state,” she added.

Though, there were no clear indications about the Vasundhara Raje government shelving the two projects, Raje’s speech had the fate of the two projects clouded by doubt.

src: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Vasundhara-Raje-trashes-Metro-refinery-projects/articleshow/29571568.cms?cfmid=11000000

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