New Delhi, Jan 21 (PTI) The AAP government has “stonewalled” the progress of the Delhi’s Metro’s Phase-IV project, leading to “substantial delay” and inconvenience to people, Union government sources claimed Monday.
The fresh accusation comes amid an apparent tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government after the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation imposed a condition of 50-50 per cent operational loss sharing while giving approval to the Phase-IV of the metro network late last month.
A Delhi government spokesperson countered the allegation, saying, the city government has already cleared the project from its side and “any delay that is now happening is from the Centre’s side”.
Highly-placed sources in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) alleged that “delay tactics of the Delhi government has derailed the metro Phase-IV project”.
The Delhi government has “stonewalled” the progress of the Delhi Metro’s Phase-IV project, leading to “substantial delay” and “causing inconvenience to people”, the sources alleged.
However, the city government spokesperson said, “The Phase-IV project was cleared in December and we had made conditions quite clear.” “We will respond further as and when we receive any communication from the Centre,” the spokesperson said.
The HUA officials recently had said that it was examining the condition that the Centre equally share any operational loss with the AAP government, while asserting that it was a state subject and that other states might raise similar demands.
Sources said the Delhi government in 2016 had not “conveyed financial commitments in their in-principle approval of the Phase-IV”.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on January 24, 2017 had submitted the proposal without commitment of sharing of 50 per cent subordinate debt towards central taxes by the Delhi government as the city government did not approve of it, they said.
This was “contrary to the existing practice being followed for all 50:50 joint venture metro rail projects”, including earlier phases of the Delhi Metro, sources claimed.
The Arvind Kejriwal government had on December 19 approved the much-awaited Phase-IV of the DMRC.
An official of the ministry had said the Delhi government had also put a condition in its approval that it will not have any liability on loan provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to fund the project.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had told reporters after the approval that the city government will give its share of Rs 9,707 crore towards the construction work under the project, which is estimated to cost around Rs 45,000 crore.
Among the projects chosen under the 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).
A Delhi government official had late last month 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”.
Also, there are certain corridors that may not be profitable in the future or even do not reach the break-even level, the official had said.
HUA sources Monday said the two conditions imposed by the Delhi government is “contrary to condition of sanction of the Phase-III of the Delhi Metro wherein operational losses are to be borne by the Delhi government”.
As per the terms of sanction of other metro projects, “repayment of external loan and operational losses” are to be borne by the state governments, they said.
The DMRC on January 10 this year had submitted the Phase-IV detailed project report comprising six corridors with revised costs, sources said.
“The HUA Ministry has started the appraisal process,” sources told PTI.
“The proposal is under appraisal by an independent agency in terms of the Metro Rail Policy, 2017. Since, the proposal of the Delhi Metro Phase-IV has again been changed by the Delhi government to six corridors, it again requires fresh inter-ministerial consultation as part of the appraisal process,” a source said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.