NEW DELHI, INDIA (Metro Rail News): According to the recent estimates, DMRC’s actual ridership has only attained 51.97% of its projected ridership. On the other hand, the ratio of operational cost to the income generated has made a bumper increase from 48.9% in 2011-12 to 80.5% in 2019-20. The data was provided by the CAG’s report on implementing DMRC’s Phase III project. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs forwarded the CAG’s report in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. It criticized the DMRC for its property development and operational management revenue generation.
The performance audit mainly focused on the efficiency of Delhi Metro between November 2018 and March 2020. It assessed the DMRC’s efficiency in operation and maintenance, project monitoring, and the planning process undertaken to keep an eye on the economic vibrancy of the project. According to the CAG’s recommendations, the operating efficiency can only be increased by reducing the cost of operation and increasing the ridership in metros.
Delhi Metro is the lifeline of the capital of the country. It is a 391km network spread across the regions of Delhi-NCR. Contrary to the DMRC’ s claim of an increase in ridership, the reports laid by the CAG is pointing towards that the actual ridership is much lower than the projected ridership. They also proclaimed that the DMRC’s primary source of income is revenue from fare collection. DMRC’s projected ridership was around 53.47 lakh, but actually, it was only 27.79lakh. Moreover, in Phase -III corridors, DMRC has claimed a daily ridership of around 20.89 lakhs, but the actual ridership was only 4.38 lakh. The reports also proclaimed in the NCR region; the actual ridership is 15.12-87.63%lower than the projected ridership.
The report referred to the instances where the DMRC failed to recover the construction cost from other agencies. Specifying one particular case, the report said that to make the Mundka-Bahadurgarh corridor financially efficient, the DMRC presented the idea of “residential” land use at a four-hectare plot in Ghevra (Delhi) and 1.56-hectare plot in Haryana to be optimally used for property development. The Metro corridor was constructed in June 2018, but the land parcels have still not been acquired as of December 2020, pointed out in the report.
The CAG refuted the DMRC and Union housing and urban affairs ministry’s statement that the Delhi government didn’t give the land for the Phase-III project.
“The reply of the Ministry/GNCTD and DMRC was not acceptable because DMRC had not ensured availability of said land for property development which was of paramount importance to make the project viable.”
Additionally, the auditor pointed out discrepancies in the estimation of the number of trees to be cut in the DPR and environment impact assessment study “There was no proper monitoring of compensatory afforestation locations and disposal of wood according to the letters given by the authority. DMRC deposited in advance, an amount of ₹14.20 crore with the forest department, GNCTD.
The CAG also criticized DMRC’s because of its inability to provide last-mile connectivity and claimed that only 43.5% of the feeder buses (174 out of 400) were in operation. Bus services were operational only on 44% of the entire routes because of the limited supply of buses. It advised DMRC to work on improving the last mile connectivity.
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