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Taking over Rapid Metro may prove to be Achilles heel for Haryana government

Taking over Rapid Metro may prove to be Achilles heel for Haryana government

Gurugram: The mounting losses for Gurugram's private metro has resulted in the pressure of the Haryana government to take over the Rapid Metro. However, it is not as easy as it seems with a huge debt of over Rs 3000 crores already there is pressure on the government to take over 80 percent of the loan. If and when the Haryana government takes over the Rapid Metro, it would mean they will have to pay Rs 2560 crores of loans.

For a government which has already taken a lot of loan taking over the operations of Gurugram private metro may further increase its debt. With the Assembly elections looming, one of the major points that are being raised by the opposition parties is the huge debt that has been taken by the Haryana government. To cut the expenses, there were also reports that the Harayana government decided to not outsource the operations to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) but rather operate it themselves.

Haryana Government has again begun the plans to connect the Old part of Gurugram with Metro.

For this purpose, it has appointed a consultant that will prepare the detailed project report (DPR) to explore the viability of the mass transportation model.

There are plans to explore the metro route through Dundahera, Sector-23 and will then extend towards Dwarka. For all this connectivity with Gurugram private metro holds the key.

There is no clarity however of when the works for the expansion of the metro within Gurugram will start.

Built on the model of public-private partnership, Gurugram's rapid metro was set to change the landscape of public transportation model in Gurugram when it first started its operation in 2013.

Five years after all did not go as per the plan, the management served Haryana Government the notice of compensating it for Rs 1484 crore of losses.

Initially, the DLF-IL&FS consortium ran the Rapid Metro Rail Gurugram Limited (RMGL). According to sources ever since the DLF withdrew its stakes from the project and the ITNL's parent company –Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) –ran into financial trouble, the ITNL found it difficult to operate the Gurugram private metro.

Higher costs for traveling, less focus on last-mile connectivity and lesser frequency of the movement of trains are resulting in many residents still relying on other modes of transportation. According to reports, there are over 50,000 commuters who use the services of the private metro daily. This, however, is not enough for the metro to recover its costs.

While these transportation mediums still charge a reasonable sum from their customers, the ticket prices in the rapid metro range from a minimum sum of Rs 20 to a maximum of Rs 35. Not only are the common citizens but even the office-goers have lessened their daily travels due to a cheaper mode of transport.

Piyush Ohrie

Piyush Ohrie

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