Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) may have to pay heavy damages to the concessionaire of Delhi Metro Airport Express line for suspension of services due to severe flaws in civil works.
A two-member committee set up by the Union ministry of urban development had held responsible the DMRC for neglecting issues of overall control and monitoring the defects on the line.
Buoyed by the report, which was submitted to the ministry on March 30 and is currently being vetted by the ministry, the Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) — the concessionaire —is seeking damages to the tune of Rs. 300 crore. The final award will be settled through an ongoing arbitration process. The claims include that for loss of revenue from ridership and advertisements and loss of brand image among others, said a DAMEPL official.
“These claims were made as per the clauses mentioned in the concessionaire agreement under several heads,” said the DAMEPL official.
According to sources, while the arbitration process for several claims are on the verge of completion, the process for settling the claim for financial losses and the damage to the brand of the concessionaire will start by next month.
“The first hearing is scheduled on May 14 and the process is likely to be over within a few months,” said a DMRC official.
“During suspension, the concessionaire has saved huge amount of money under several heads such as maintenance, power consumption, etc. We will raise the matter during the hearing,” said a senior DMRC official.
The swanky line was built by the DMRC in a span of 27 months with an expenditure of Rs. 5,600 crore. It was scheduled to be operational before the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but DAMEPL had failed to meet the deadline and finally the line became partially operational in February 2011.
DMRC, for the delay, had staked a claim of Rs. 60.3 crore from the concessionaire. It, so far, has realised Rs. 43 crore — mostly from bank guarantees.
According to sources, nine different aspects, including the design and quality of civil structure and whether there was delay in detection of faults that led to the closure of the operations. The report pointed out that there were major defects in civil works due to crushing of grout material (a construction material used to connect sections of pre-cast concrete).