The Central government has asked the Delhi government to end the tussle over Delhi Metro's Phase IV, which has led to the project being further delayed, as its conditions cannot be accepted.
After the state government held out on its conditions, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra has written to state Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, seeking a review of the decision to stop the work and lift the embargo at the earliest in public interest.
The AAP government had, in April, asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to not start the work on phase IV till the Centre revises its approval in concurrence with the Delhi Cabinet's approval.
"In this regard, I am directed to reiterate that DMRC would not start the work on Delhi Metro phase IV project till the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, GOI revises the approval communicated... of the three priority corridors of Delhi Metro Phase IV (including additional 244 cars) in tune with the approval concurred by the Government of NCT of Delhi...," Delhi Government's Deputy Commissioner, MRTS, Tarun Kapoor wrote to DMRC's General Manager, Finance, Ashu Sharma.
The Centre has now asked the Arvind Kejriwal government to agree.
Noting that Metro's Phase IV has already been delayed by four years in want of approval from the Delhi Government, Mishra's letter to the Delhi Chief Secretary stated: "The directive of the GNCTD to the DMRC not to start the work of Phase IV will further jeopardise the expansion of metro network in the capital and leave it devoid of its benefits apart from adding to cost and time overruns."
He also recalled that the Union government had received the final proposal of the project in December last year and realising the urgency of the metro expansion under Phase IV, the Union Cabinet had, in March, granted approval to three priority corridors.
These corridors - Aerocity to Tughlaqabad (20.20 km), Janakpuri West to RK Ashram (28.92 km) and Mukundpur to Maujpur (12.54 km) - were selected as they are facing serious congestion, sources said.
Mishra's letter also said that the AAP dispensation's condition that the Centre share the operational losses of the project, if any, cannot be accepted as it is against the Delhi Metro Rail Policy, 2017 and no such exception has been made to any state or Union Territory's metro project.
"GNCTD vide its letter dated 27.12.2018 to DMRC had granted approval on all six corridors of phase IV, subject to the condition that operating losses, if any, are to be shared between GOI and GNCTD in 50:50 ratio and the state government will not bear any liability of repayment of the JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) loan. These conditions by the GNCTD are against the norms laid down by the Delhi Metro Rail Policy, 2017 and also what was agreed to by Delhi Government in Delhi Metro phase III project," he said.
"You are aware that there cannot be any special privileged condition for Delhi. All metro projects in any part of the country are approved as per Metro Rail Policy, 2017 or practices evolved over the years. These conditions were applied in approving Delhi Metro Phase IV project. Hence there is no question of accepting the recommendation by GNCTD, as mentioned above, which has not been done for any other metro project," he added.
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