Business Standard

Centre-Delhi govt tussle on Metro Phase-IV over condition on loss sharing


Press Trust of India New Delhi
A fresh tussle between the Centre and Delhi government appears to be brewing after the AAP dispensation imposed a condition of 50-50 per cent operational loss sharing while giving approval to the Phase-IV of Delhi Metro.
Though Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry officials said it is examining the condition that the Centre equally share any operational loss with the AAP government, they asserted that it was a state subject and that other states may raise similar demands.
Earlier this month, the Arvind Kejriwal Government had approved the much-awaited Phase-IV of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
An official of the ministry said Delhi government has also put a condition in its approval that it will not have any liability on loan provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to fund the project.
"We are examining both conditions imposed by Delhi government in approving the Metro Phase-IV. Why should the central government bear operational loss? It is a state-subject.
"State government has the responsibility of operations of Metro. If we agree on these conditions, other state governments will also raise same demands. However, we are currently examining Delhi government's conditions," an official said.
The finance department of Delhi government had in a recent report said that some routes of Phase-IV are not financially viable.
A Delhi government official confirmed that the two conditions were part of the approval to Phase IV.
"Delhi government has never borne any liability in the past also.... This condition was put in just to make things clear," official said.
"In the past one year, the ridership has gone down due to various reasons. So, if Delhi has to pay 100 per cent of the operational loss, it will not be financially viable for it," the official said.
Also, there are certain corridors that may not be profitable in future or even do not reach the break even level, the official added.
Among the projects chosen under Phase-IV, are Rithala-Narela (21.73 km), Janakpuri West-R K Ashram (28.92 km), Mukundpur-Maujpur (12.54 km), Inderlok-Indraprastha (12.58 km), Tughlakabad-Aerocity (20.20 km), and Lajpat Nagar-Saket G-Block (7.96 km).

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First Published: Dec 31 2018 | 7:30 PM IST

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