The Delhi Rail Corporation (DMRC) has warned the Delhi government that the cost of phase 4 extension will shoot up by crores if it did not approve the project plan in time.
The DMRC has been seeking the approval for over a year, with the phase-3 construction in its last leg of completion.
But the government wants DMRC to focus on rural areas in phase 4, sources said. “The first detailed project report (DPR) was submitted almost 18 months ago. A few months later, the government asked us to prepare the DPR for a route from Dwarka to Kanjhawla,” said a DMRC official, requesting anonymity.
DMRC told them the route should be included in phase 5 as there was no scope for development on it, he said.
“Since the government insisted, we prepared a DPR for it. The route will have 18 stations. Still, the government hasn’t replied. This will ultimately lead to a rise in the cost,” the official said.
The corporation said contractors, currently engaged in phase-3 work, will move out of the city soon. If the tenders are released after that, they will quote a higher amount to return to the city.
“We must award the contract before work for phase 3 ends to keep the contractor in the city. Once they move out, they will ask us to pay for the transportation of heavy machine they will be carrying,” the official added.
DMRC estimated `55,000 crore as cost for phase-4 construction and an additional `4,000 crore for the new line proposed by the Delhi government. Officials were unable to say by how much the cost will shoot up if the project got delayed, but estimated it would be several crores.
Metro gave several representations to the government. In a meeting last week, it warned them again of cost escalation if the project is not approved.
Sources said DMRC planned to cover rural areas in phase 5, which will start in 2022. But the AAP government asked them to try to complete it by Metro work in rural areas by 2020 — when the next assembly election will be held.
Sources said DMRC was already covering rural areas after group of ministers asked them to take Metro to outer Delhi areas such as Bawana and Narela. The Rithala-Bawana-Narela corridor proposed in phase 5 will also be a loss-making route as it will not attract much traffic, said an official. But it has been pushed by politicians.
“We expect returns through property development in the areas where we construct the Metro. But in these two sections (Rithala-Narela and Dwarka-Kanjhawla), the growth of traffic is very less. Due to lack of development, we are not expecting much commercial development either,” the official added.
The transport department confirmed that DMRC presented the DPR. “We suggested that they give a representation to the CM and other ministers as they will have to approve the project. It was the government’s demand to introduce Metro in rural areas and they will take the final call,” said a transport department official.