DMRC modified agreement to benefit Reliance, alleges CM

DMRC modified agreement to benefit Reliance, alleges CM

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday demanded CBI probe into the matter of an impending liability of Rs 5,000 crore faced by DMRC. The CM also sent a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday. The termination of contract for Airport Express line has created a liability of Rs 5,000 crore for Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), alleged Deputy CM Manish Sisodia.

Kejriwal had asked the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) to inquire into the matter and submit their findings. The copy of findings in the matter was sent by Arvind Kejriwal to Home Minister.

In a letter addressed to the Union Minister, the CM alleged that DMRC "modified and wilfully manipulated" the concession agreement so as to give an "unfair and unwarranted advantage" to the concessionaire (Reliance) at the expense of public exchequer. Kejriwal further alleged "serious multiple defects and lapses" in the entire civil construction of the Airport Express line by the DMRC which led to the termination of the agreement by the concessionaire.

Fearing that the DMRC might raise its fare again in order to pay over Rs 5,000 crore to Reliance, Kejriwal said the Delhi government is examining if it can "intervene in the proceedings at the high court to challenge the award for its contravention of public policy". He also sent a copy of the letter to Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Hardeep Singh Puri "for necessary action at his end."

Deputy CM, in his brief to the media, said: "15,051 cracks were found in the Metro tracks and 149 defective twists were found in the girders." Taking cognizance of the matter, Sisodia also said that "this liability could increase Metro fares again, prompting the residents of Delhi to opt for buses and other alternatives, which will increase the load on the roads".

"This entire episode would lead to an onerous burden of about Rs 4,700 crore which will have to be shared equally by government of India (GoI) and Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). Yet, the GNCTD has no means of taking any preventive or corrective action as DMRC is neither answerable to GNCTD nor does GNCTD exercise any form of control or authority over DMRC," the letter read.

The letter added that This is so even when GNCTD is responsible for financing 50 percent of the capital expenditure and 100 percent of the operational losses of DMRC. This is a severely flawed arrangement that needs an urgent review for

remedial action.

Sayantan Ghosh

Sayantan Ghosh

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