Private Public Participation model for CRS!

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Commuter Rail

Back in early 1990’s, government still owned everything, one man thought otherwise for an international airport project.   When the State government asked the then district collector of Ernakulum, Mr. V.J.Kurien IAS, to submit a project report with the various financing options for the International airport at cochin, he recommended a public participation model with a society and seek interest-free loans from Non Resident Indians, donations and loans from major industrial undertakings, small scale units, exporters, banks, financial institutions and the state government.  Since the state government and AAI did not have money to construct the airport on their own, they agreed immediately to the recommendation and MR. Kurien was made in-charge of the project and started work in a one room office with a peon.

In one of the interview to the newspaper later, Mr.Kurien mention how he made sure that there is good response from the important stakeholders for the project The NRIs from Kerala.  He gave advertisements in newspapers telling the public about the project and asking those interested to fill in a coupon and mail it to him.  Many people mostly NRIs responded positively.   He wrote to all of them explaining them more about the proposed project.  He travelled to many gulf and European countries to enlist financial support for the project from NRIs.  The result, 10,000 NRIs invested 80 Million in the project.   

This project was not born overnight but, over the years, NRIs visiting Kerala had to transit through Mumbai with an unpleasant stay overnight in dingy hotels or outside the airport before boarding the connecting flights to Kerala.   The NRIs campaigned for years before the government decided to take up the airport project.  Since, the project was commercial, instead of a society; it took the shape of legal limited entity (Cochin International airport Ltd, CIAL). 

The total project cost of 2.3 billion was raised through investments coming from many fronts including individual NRIs 10,000 of them from all over the world investing about Rs. 80 Million.   Kerala government invested 280 million and Rs.140 million debt financing from various banks and rest came as equity from airport service providers and financial institutions.

It is sad that in 2013, 20 years after that man literally invented PPP model for public projects, we are still waiting for government to do things for most important project for the future of Bangalore.  When 10,000 NRIs from kerala can take steps to solve their problem with the help of one man, can’t one crore plus Bangalorians take the initiative and make the CRS a reality?

Here is what I suggest, we at praja will take the initiative to create the SPV/limited Company and invite the public, associations, businesses, IT honchos, state government, railways, central government, banks and international organizations to come and join to make CRS reality. 

You all have done initial work in creating the awareness campaign collaterals with posters, website, facebook page etc but, now it is the time to take it to next level and let’s create an organization and a committee which works full time in raising funds, creating awareness and lieson with government and varous organisations.  let's start doing the real work on CRS project instead of waiting for government hand out.  Let me start this with a pledge I will donate Rs.1000 towards initial expenses of the project and 5 hours per week of my time for the project and purchase shares of Rs. 10,000 of the new company. How about you?



@Ashfaq, IA, I will invest 10K!

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Nice suggestion and great attempt to take the CRS on a different level. Please count me in and IA, I will contribute 10K for the startup cost.

Let me know the details.

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