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From Rs 50 crore to Rs 414.70 cr, grants for Delhi Metro rise

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro has been given a grant of Rs 414.70 crore in the Union Budget 2019-20 as against Rs 50 crore in the last fiscal. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shared the details while presenting the Budget in Parliament on Friday. The Delhi Metro's current operational span is 342 km with 250 stations. The last section of the DMRC made operational was on March 8 –6.6-km Noida City Centre-Noida Electronic City section, an extension of the Delhi Metro's Blue Line.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation sources in February after presentation of the Interim Budget 2019-20 had said, the grant had been given for work on Noida and Ghaziabad sections of the network. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has been allocated Rs 17,713.93 crore for executing metro projects across the country, which was Rs 14,864.60 crore in the revised Budget of the previous fiscal.

The government has set aside Rs 19,152 crore for Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) as against the previous Budget's allocation of Rs 15,600 crore. There is no budget allocation for long pending Delhi Metro's Phase IV, which has become a bone of contention between the city government and the Centre. Delhi government was expecting for the long-awaited Metro Project. Several times, Union Housing and Urban Affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri accused the AAP government of having a behavioural pattern of "creating hurdles" in response to two conditions imposed by Delhi government while clearing the project.

The Housing and Urban Affairs ministry is looking into the conditions imposed by the Delhi government. The Delhi cabinet while clearing Metro Phase IV had imposed conditions that the operational losses of the project should be shared on 50-50 basis by it and the Centre.

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