New Delhi: On January 1, 2019, may begin without one of Delhi’s most ubiquitous sights for the past two decades of construction work of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
Now DMRC is yet to receive approval for Phase IV from the Delhi government, which has not cleared it since 2015. After receiving it the state government’s approval, DMRC will have to approach the Centre for its go-ahead. Given that it is already the middle of October, there’s little chance of that changing by the end of the year.
By the end of December, they will finish Phase III and also start operations. In an e-mail response, DMRC confirmed this and added that with no approval in sight, it will “not be in a position to start the implementation of Phase IV, said Senior DMRC officials.
On Monday Union minister of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, criticised the Kejriwal government for “holding up development projects in Delhi”. He said that the Phase IV proposal has been stuck with the Delhi government for almost three years now with no signs of progress.
Mr. Puri said that whenever I meet the CM I remind him to expedite the Phase IV proposal but he keeps giving some excuse or the other. There is a pattern with this government. They are not allowing development projects to happen.
At proposed 21.73km Rithala-Narela corridor and the 22km Tughlakabad-Terminal 1 section, citing “financial losses”. Senior Delhi government officials who asked not to be named said at the time that the other four corridors — Janakpuri West-RK Ashram (28.92km), Mukundpur-Maujpur (12.54km), Inderlok-Indraprastha (12.58km ) and Lajpat Nagar-Saket G Block (7.96km) — were cleared.
It has not received any official communication from the Delhi government rejecting these two routes or approving the other four routes. Anuj Dayal, executive director (corporate communications) at DMRC, said that the Delhi government had on January 29 intimated that two corridors (Rithala-Narela and Tughlakabad-Terminal 1) could be deferred for the time being, said on Monday.
This is the first time since DMRC started construction work in the city in 1998 that any proposed corridor of the Delhi Metro has been stuck in bureaucratic delays.
The reason for “financial viability” cited by the Delhi government should not stand in the case of large development projects such as the Metro, said Virendra Kumar Sharma, transport economist and infrastructure planner.
He also added that the properties develop on the pretext of Metro projects. Areas such as Dwarka, Mundka and Noida Extension have developed only after the announcement of Metro reaching there. The coming of the Metro makes a locality financially viably. Such infrastructure plans should be kept away from politics.