NEW DELHI (Metro Rail News): Different Commercial establishments operating out of Metro stations have written to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to defer rental payments as no business has taken place since the last week of March when the nationwide lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The DMRC has formed a committee to look into these demands.
While public transport was allowed to resume in the national capital on May 20, under strict restrictions and rules, Metro services have been shut for almost five months now. The government is yet to announce the date for reopening Metro services.
There are about 400 shops operating out of 285 Metro stations, not to mention the property development at stations such as Nehru Place and Huda City Centre that before the lockdown used to attract a high footfall owing to the numerous restaurants located in these places. The Delhi Metro earns around ₹600 crore in rental income.
With a daily footfall of nearly 30 lakh on Metro network, it had been a lucrative proposition for commercial establishments to operate out of stations. But since the lockdown, these businesses has been suffering huge losses.
Anuj Dayal, executive director, corporate communication, DMRC was quoted saying, “The businesses of our tenants, including retail and commercial properties, have been badly affected. They have written to us asking that we defer rental payments. We are looking at the government guidelines on this. If we take coercive action against these tenants, some of them might be forced to shut down. We need to support them at this hour of crisis. The pandemic has still not settled down. So we are yet to take a call on the issue.”
Dayal further said, “In 2018-19, the earnings from non-passenger revenue was ₹594 crore, which include income from rentals and leases.”
Rentals from commercial spaces is one of the important sources of the Metro’s revenue. Apart from that, the DMRC also earns revenue from parking at stations, and leasing of advertisement space on stations and trains, among others. However, the main source of DMRC revenue is from Metro operations which is around ₹3,000 crore annually.”