The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is not willing to fund fresh procurement of coaches by the Delhi Metro, forcing it to knock on the door of the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) for a loan of around Rs 2,000 crore for “immediate procurement” of 156 coaches for all eight-coach trains across busiest corridors. The Indian Express has learnt that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) board, the Metro’s highest decision-making authority, has cleared the proposal aimed at managing crowds.
The board has also given the go-ahead to the Corporation to float an open tender for these new procurements. The original proposal of the DMRC was to buy 582 coaches, which has been pending with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Delhi government for nearly two years now. Subsequently, in June this year, the Metro lowered its demand to 200 coaches. It had sent a letter to the Delhi Transport Department, seeking approval for the same, which it stated would be funded through external borrowings and internal accruals.
But, as per official documents, the Metro got no “positive response from JICA” when it took up its funding requirements with the Japanese government entity. JICA funded 60 per cent of Rs 10,571 crore completion cost of Metro’s Phase I; 54.47 per cent of Rs 18,871 crore of Phase II; and around 48 per cent of Rs 41,000 crore incurred to build Phase III.
“The estimated procurement price of these additional 156 cars, as calculated based on the contracted prices duly escalated up to October 2018, works out to be Rs 1,958 crore, including taxes and duties. DMRC had taken up the funding requirements with JICA, but there is no positive response. Now, it has written to the NCRPB for funding,” DMRC executive director Anuj Dayal said.
Of the 156 coaches, Delhi Metro plans to use 36 on the Airport Express Line. Dayal said this would enable DMRC to convert all its remaining six-coach broad gauge trains into eight-coach trains on the Red, Yellow and Blue Lines, counted among its busiest corridors in terms of traffic volume, and also take care of the extension of Airport Line to Dwarka sector 25.
The Corporation will now write to the Delhi government, as well as the Centre, with the fresh proposal. Both governments are equal shareholders in the Corporation. According to DMRC data, around 250 trains currently operate on its 296-km network. The total number of coaches being used are 1,654.