Reliance Infrastructure-led Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) seems to have run out of steam after suffering operating losses running the Delhi Airport Express Line and wants out.
According to sources, DAMEPL has issued a termination notice to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), raising questions about the financial viability of the project.
DMRC officials also clearly indicated that DAMEPL had questioned the financial viability of the airport line and had asked for restructuring.
“Issues raised by M/s DAMEPL regarding financial nonviability of the project and also their request for restructuring has been rejected by DMRC. On request of M/s DAMEPL, the dispute is now being referred for arbitration,” said Mangu Singh, managing director, DMRC. “Similarly, the issue of termination of the concession agreement has been disputed and the same has also been referred for resolution through arbitration proceedings.”
Refusing comment, DAMEPL simply chose to say, “The repair work executed by DMRC is nearing completion. We will recommence operations of airport metro line soon after getting necessary safety clearances. DAMEPL, as the concessionaire, will run the line.”
Till the time a final decision is reached on the issue however, DAMEPL is expected to operate the line.
According to sources, operations may resume next month.
Sudhir Krishna, urban development secretary and chairperson of DMRC, declined to comment on the matter, but senior urban development ministry officials said the airport metro express is likely to start operations by mid-November.
“Repair work is going on as per schedule. Trial run will start soon,” an urban development ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, said.
The airport line has not been able to attract commuters as expected. Only 20,000 commuters avail the service daily.