Within 24 hours of the Airport Metro line changing hands,erstwhile operator Infra demanded its termination payment from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC),with officials claiming that DMRC owed it 130 per cent of the equity and 100 per cent of the debt due.
Meanwhile,both sides engaged in a blame game over the running of the 22.7 kilometre line. DMRC said R-Infra-led Delhi Airport Metro Private Limited (DAMEPL) had pulled out as it was running huge losses every month.
Director (Operations) of DMRC Sharat Sharma said that while DAMEPL had not sent their complete balancesheets,it was estimated tht DAMEPL was running a loss of Rs 4 crore loss every month. According to our estimation,monthly expenditure was 7 crore,while revenue Rs 3 crore. If the problem could have been solved by simply lowering ticket prices,Reliance would have done it. We will examine the situation and assess the liability, Sharma said.
R-Infra said DAMEPL had pulled out of the concession agreement owing to DMRCs failure to cure substantial defects in civil structure designed and built by DMRC. Officials said DAMEPL had terminated the contract with DMRC almost 9 months ago in a letter dated October 8,2012. Despite repeated requests,DMRC failed to make alternate arrangements to take over the operations of the line… As a result,DAMEPL was compelled to serve a final notice again,requesting DMRC to takeover from July 1,2013…, officials said.
DMRC refused to comment on the issue. I do not want to comment on who violated the contract as the matter is in arbitration, Sharma said.
Asked if DMRC would find another concessionare,Sharma said the decision depended on banks that lent money for the project. The lenders of the project can bring in a substitute. We will have to speak to the banks.