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Centre, city spat may delay Metro Ph-IV by two years
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Centre, city spat may delay Metro Ph-IV by two years

22 Jan 2019 | 7:27 AM

NEW DELHI: Due to a tussle between the Union and AAP’s Delhi government on funding, Delhi Metro’s Phase IV project is likely to be delayed for about two years. Both the governments have engaged in blame game.

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Syed Ali Ahmed

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 21

Due to a tussle between the Union and AAP’s Delhi government on funding, Delhi Metro’s Phase IV project is likely to be delayed for about two years. Both the governments have engaged in blame game.

Sources at the Centre said that the Delhi government sought revision of costs and addition of three more corridors which required fresh appraisal and cabinet. This is a time consuming process. As the Lok Sabha election is round the corner, the government cannot spare time for the projects.

As per the sources, the projects’ proposal will be initiated after the election and the formalities will probably take about two years to complete .

The Delhi government has only revised the earlier proposal of Phase IV, but reiterated that it would not bear any liability of repayment to Japan International Cooperation Agency and any operating losses. This is in contravention to the existing practices and conditions agreed to for the Phase III and is applicable in all Metro rail projects like in Chennai, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Mumbai etc, said sources.

The Delhi government sources said it had two conditions — operational losses would be equally shared by the Centre and the state, and that the Delhi government would not bear any liability of external loan if the DMRC fails to pay back.

As per the existing practice of sanction of the Metro rail projects, the payment of external loan and operational losses are to be borne by the state government. This is also a part of Metro Rail Policy 2017, sources said.

The Delhi government in June 2016 did not convey financial commitments in their ‘in principal’ approval of Phase IV. This was contrary to the existing practices being followed for all fifty-fifty joint venture Metro rail projects including earlier Metro phases. The sources said that on February 3, 2017, Delhi was again requested to give their financial commitment as done for other metro projects but it refused on May 19, 2017.

Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot said that the Delhi government approved the Phase-IV on Dec 21 after hanging it for almost two years. Ahead of the LS polls, the BJP is using it to attack AAP by accusing it of stalling all development projects.

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