Delhi Metro’s expansion plans seem to be in Japan quake trouble. The Delhi government has cleared the proposal to build 108km in Phase 3, but is not sure how to fund the Rs 30,000-crore project.
It was counting on soft loans from Japanese banks, but last month’s 9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan’s northeast have upset the plan. Japanese estimates put the losses at more than $300bn (Rs 13.5 trillion).
The government was expecting to get 40%-50% of the project cost from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as soft loan, said sources. JICA has been a major source of funds for earlier phases.
Chief minister Sheila Dikshit said she would discuss funding avenues in a meeting of the group of ministers (GoM).
“They (JICA) have neither confirmed nor denied yet. We are not sure if we are going to get money from them. The funding pattern will have to be discussed in GoM,” Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said.
In Phase 3, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) plans three new lines and expansion of two corridors. After giving its go-ahead, the Delhi cabinet has sent the proposal to the GoM for approval.
While JICA officials in Delhi were unsure of their government’s plans, the DMRC said it was for the government to decide the funding pattern. “The Union and the Delhi government can’t fund the plan on their own. We’ll have to explore various avenues to get money,” said Dikshit.