Delhi Metro|Center faces funding hurdles for Delhi Metro phase-IV project

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New Delhi: Confusion prevails over the funding of the Delhi Metro phase-IV which is expected to begin next year. The Government is reportedly unclear on how it could raise about Rs2,500 crore per annum over a period of five years to fund the mega project.

The phase-IV with six corridors and a total length of 103.93 km will need over Rs49,973 crore for its completion. Both Ministry of Urban Development (UDM) and the Delhi Government are holding serious deliberations on how it can raise funds for completion of this project.

In all, the Delhi Government will be bound to shell out about Rs12,500 crore over a period of five years for the phase-IV project. The Centre too will have to shell out an equal amount for the same period for the project.  The remaining amount will be reportedly raised through loans from the Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA).

It is noted that Centre’s total budget for all metro projects are about Rs8,500 crore in 2015-16.

The Phase III of the Metro is to cost Rs37,672.78 crore to the State exchequer.  The actual work on the Phase IV should begin by April 2016 and its various sections could be opened in phases from March 2020. The completion date will be subject to acquisition of land required for the project within six months period from the date of sanction of project. In the phase IV, 37.1 km will be underground while 66.92 km will be elevated. A presentation was made before  chief secretary KK Sharma on Wednesday.

According to presentation by the transport department, the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), an engineering consultancy company, has suggested the Delhi Government that the funds for the project can be raised either through Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) or Built Operate Transfer (BOT) model. While the funding pattern under the SPV model will work out about Rs55,208 crore, the same will cost Rs51,019 crore under the BOT model.

Under the SPV model, the amount to be borne by the Delhi Government will be to the tune of Rs11,334 crore and that of the Centre Rs9,213 crore. But under the BOT model, the Centre will have to contribute Rs10,615 crore and  the Delhi Government will have to shell out  Rs24,979 crore. Considering  the huge difference  in the funds  to be provided by the Government under the  two models,   the RITES has reportedly recommended that the project be implemented  under  the SPV model.

Under the phase-IV, six new corridors will add about 103.93 km to the existing metro network, which is already 190 km long.  The Phase III of the metro is also going to add 140 km to the existing network. After completion of phase-IV, the total network of the metro is expected to span across 400 kms. The Delhi Metro, which started operation in 2002, is currently 190 km long with 139 stations.

According to RITES projections, the phase-IV project is likely to benefit nearly 60 lakh people every day.  It is expected that phase IV will have 40 lakh daily riders.

The Delhi Metro would first take up the work of the Mukundpur-Maujpur and Janakpuri West-RK Ashram corridors.

The DMRC had made certain changes in its initial project layout following suggestions by the RITES that had also conducted a traffic survey and found that some changes in the plan would benefit more people. The proposed corridors would link the existing routes of phase I, II & III through different routes and thus reduce travel time  in the national Capital. The primary focus  of the proposed phase IV project is to connect areas that have not been covered under phase III of the metro network.

A senior official of transport department said the corridors have been firmed up after incorporating changes suggested in the initial layout plan, which also takes care of traffic volume and transportation need in a particular area.

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