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Centre clears way for 2nd Metro expansion phase

Daily commuters between the national capital and its satellite towns — Gurgaon and Noida...

Written by Smita Aggarwal | New Delhi |
February 4, 2009 12:05:11 am

Daily commuters between the national capital and its satellite towns — Gurgaon and Noida — can finally heave a sigh of relief with the government finally tying up funds for the second phase of the metro network,albeit at a cost of more than Rs 4,400 crore. The expansion is to be partly funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

As the deadline for Commonwealth Games approaches,the Centre has hurriedly cleared the way for Delhi Metro’s second expansion phase,which will connect the city with Noida and Gurgaon. JICA,which had earlier funded 60 per cent of the costs of Phase I of the Delhi Metro,had refused to bear the full impact of the cost escalation.

“The JICA has now agreed to finance 30 per cent of the required additional amount of around Rs 4,400 crore. For the remaining amount of around Rs 2,500 crore,the Government of India and the state government will equally fund the equity,” said urban development secretary M Ramachandran.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has already placed orders for the rolling stock requirement and the Central funding will come in the form of budgetary allocation in the following two years,2009-10 and 2010-11.

DMRC had run into project cost overruns finding it difficult to tie funds for additional rolling stock requirements. The Empowered Group of Ministers,led by External Affairs minister and acting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee,gave its nod last week for the Public Private Partnership route to fund additional money,sources said.

“To raise additional funds,property development has been mandated for DMRC. The local bodies have been instructed to give clearances when they are approached for property development related clearances,” said Ramachandran. The property development is expected to raise Rs 500-600 crore,which will part finance the rolling stock requirement.

Due to the extension of some lines and addition of new sections,the initial cost estimates for Phase II of the Delhi Metro had risen considerably,touching almost Rs 20,000 crore. Similarly,rolling stock requirement had risen from 230 to 536 coaches,putting additional pressure on finances. For the Phase II,DMRC has involved developers in construction of operational building at metro stations where property development on a larger scale is proposed,thus raising funds through the PPP route.

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