Ministries wrangle over Delhi Metro | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ministries wrangle over Delhi Metro

The Urban Development ministry and the Railway ministry are engaged in a slugfest over the control of the operations of the Metro rail, reports Srinand Jha.

delhi Updated: May 14, 2008 22:57 IST
Srinand Jha

Does the Delhi Metro come under the definition of Railway? Two ministries of the union government are engaged in a slugfest over this question.

The Urban Development (UD) ministry’s perspective is that since the subject of urban transport has been allocated to it, the ministry ought to have entire control of the operations of the Metro rail.

The Railway ministry feels the UD ministry’s demand is unreasonable because huge technical and vital aspects of Metro operations are involved.

The UD ministry is the administering agency for the Delhi Metro (Operations and Maintaince) Act, 2002, but the Ministry of Railways discharges responsibilities of safety certification and technical planning. The Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS) provides the safety certification for the Delhi metro, but according to established procedures for ensuring impartiality, he reports to the Civil Aviation ministry.

“Our intention is to strengthen and expand the office of the CCRS; it should therefore be in order that subjects of safety and technical planning are transferred to us,” UD secretary M Ramachandran said.

In its action taken report to the 34th report of the parliamentary standing committee on railways, the government has rejected the idea of transferring the subject of technical planning to the UD ministry since it has “no competence or experience in train operations”.

“Things are in a sorry state because of inter-ministerial wrangles and lack of coordination. We have submitted our report, it is now for the government to sort things out”, said Basudev Acharya, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Railways.

Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Chief Commissioner P K Sen said that he had not initiated the inquiry process so far.