Delhi metro has been a savior for transport system in national capital. The lifeline of transport system in its present form has been constructed in two phases, mainly with the soft loan provided by Japanese bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Central government and respective state government (Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana) also shared expenditure on their behalf. DMRC is seeking the approval for phase 4 expansion project from government for over a year and now as the third phase construction is about to finish, DMRC warned government that if it doesn’t get prior approval, the estimated cost will shoot up by several crores.
The completion cost of Phase 1 network (65 kms) was Rs 10,571 crores, for phase 2 (124.93 kms) – it was Rs 18,783 crores while the total expenditure for Phase 3 expansion (160.574 kms) is estimated at Rs 41,079 crores. The phase 3 is covering 13 routes, majorly to connect existing networks of Delhi metro. Delhi metro had also planned phase 4 of the network expansion for which the estimated cost is Rs 55,000 crores, but the things are not going exactly the same way officials planned. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which looks over the implementation and operation of metro rail network, has warned the Delhi government to approve the planned phase 4 in time.
DMRC has fixed 2021 as the deadline for phase 4 expansion but if Delhi government takes more time for giving final approval, estimated expenditure is expected to go high, adding further burden. 75 new station would be added in phase 4 expansion project of 95.86 kms, which includes 31.47 kms underground and 64.39 kms elevated metro rail.
The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government gave in-principal approval in February for construction of phase 4 network after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held meeting with transport department, public works department and urban development department. Delhi government had demanded DMRC to focus on rural areas in phase 4, to which DMRC said the proposed route ‘Dwarka to Kanjhawla’ should be included in phase 5 expansion. DMRC official said, “Since the government insisted, we prepared a detailed project report for it. As per the report, the route will have 18 stations.” It also increased the estimated cost of project by Rs 4,000 crores.
Official further told that the first DPR was submitted almost 18 months ago and as the new report has been submitted, the government, still, is not paying heed towards the project. He added, since the construction of metro network requires heavy machinery and established companies-contractors, the tender amount would go high once these contractors leave the city after completion of phase 3 network. “We must award the contract before work for phase 3 ends to keep the contractor in the city. Once they move out, they will ask us to pay for the transportation of heavy machine they will be carrying,” DMRC official added.
The proposed routes in phase 4 expansion project include Rithala – Narela (21.73km), Janakpuri West-RK Ashram (28.92km), Mukundpur-Maujpur (12.54km), Inderlok-Indraprastha (12.58km), Tughlakabad-Aerocity (20.20 km) and Lajpat Nagar-Saket G-Block (7.96 km).