Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday rejected Delhi Government's offer to take over the Delhi Metro.
Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday rejected Delhi Government’s offer to take over the Delhi Metro. However, Puri suggested that Arvind Kejriwal led government may explore taking up the operations of its proposed phase IV as a “test case”, PTI reported. The minister also dismissed Kejriwal’s suggestion that the Centre and Delhi government share the operational expenses of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Puri added that it would be a violation of the existing policy governing financing of metro projects. “While I appreciate your confidence, enthusiasm and keenness to take on more responsibility, I am constrained to point out that this again is also not in line with existing policy,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
“The Policy in respect of 50:50 joint venture metro projects as is the case of DMRC, does not envisage metro operations either by the state or central governments. It is precisely for this reason that Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) have been created and are meant to do so,” Puri wrote in a letter to Kejriwal.
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Puri also dismissed Kejriwal’s claim that the DMRC’s efficiency is “below par”. The minister said that Delhi Metro’s quality standards are comparable with the best in the world and it is one of the success stories of India. “Besides violation of this policy, your suggestion has wider financial implications for such projects which are already operational in good number with more in the offing.
Central Government again cannot be seen violating its own policies unmindful of the consequences,” Puri further explained in his letter. Earlier, writing a letter to Puri, Delhi CM Kejriwal had offered to take over the DMRC to make it more efficient and said his government was ready to provide half the funds needed to meet the gap in its finances for three months.