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Fund shortage: Montek to meet transport secys of all states

In a decisive meeting,the planning commission chairman,Montek Singh Ahluwalia will hold discussion with transport secretaries of all states on Saturday morning to look for a solution to serious fund shortage.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
January 31, 2009 4:09:20 pm

In a decisive meeting,the planning commission chairman,Montek Singh Ahluwalia will hold discussion with transport secretaries of all states on Saturday morning to look for a solution to serious fund shortage.

The Japanese Government’s refusal to release a grant of Rs 1,265 crore to meet the enhanced cost of the second phase of the Metro rail project in the Delhi is also expected to be discussed during the meeting. With nearly all states recording a dip in revenue,Planning Commission will have tough task arranging for funds for pending transport projects.

The Japanese Government is reported to have conveyed to the Central Government and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) that it would cut funding for Phase II and also reduce its funding share from 58 per cent to 48 per cent of the total cost due to global recession.

Alarmed by the message,Union Government held a meeting of group of ministers on Friday evening to review the situation. The meeting headed by Union External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee was also attended by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Metro managing director E Sreedharan. The government is worried that halting Metro project ahead of Lok Sabha election will send a negative signal to the voters.

Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) had 58 per cent shares in the Delhi Metro. It has already submitted the project appraisal for Phase II and proposed 48 per cent funding of Rs 8,118 crore against the total cost of Rs 20,000 crore.

Spelling another set back to government’s plan of having a unified transport policy,JBIC has also refused funds for Metro project in the NCR areas – Noida,Ghaziabad,Faridabad and Gurgoan. The GOM has agreed to grant a loan to Delhi Metro for Phase II.

The project’s Phase II includes six routes with a total length of 53.02 km and 45 stations. Of the total route,about 42.24 km would be elevated,8.93 km underground and 1.85 km at grade level. The second phase would include the Delhi University-Jehangirpuri,Central Secretariat-Qutab Minar,IP-Yamuna Depot-New Ashok Nagar,Yamuna Depot-Anand Vihar ISBT,Shahdara-Dilshad Garden and Kirti Nagar-Mundka stretches. The Delhi University-Jehangirpuri line is scheduled to be inaugurated in the first week of February. The deadline for the second phase is December 2010.

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