The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, which is all set to expand its network under Phase 3, is likely to hit a roadblock with the retirement of its chief E Sreedharan.
The project is already running behind schedule as the final clearance from the group of ministers has not been given yet.
Delhi Metro officials said the project may face serious challenges if these problems are not sorted out soon. The Metro chief is likely to go in December, when DMRC is expecting to start the construction of 108 kilometres of additional lines running across the city. Some additional lines connecting satellite towns are also planned. Sreedharan has urged the government in his recent letter to the chief minister to finalise his successor within a couple of months so that he could train the new chief before he leaves. “We hope Sreedharan is able to clear the hurdles we are facing for Phase 3. We also hope the the new chief is efficient enough to run the show,” said a senior DMRC official.
The detailed project report (DPR) for phase 4 also has to be prepared before Sreedharan leaves. The Union government has already asked the DMRC to submit the DPR for phase 4 as soon as possible, said officials. “Phase 3 is one of the most challenging projects due to its complex network, deadline pressure and proposed technological upgradation. Construction works under the project that are scheduled to be completed by 2016 are yet to be started.”
Also, the project cost has accelerated from R25,000 crore to R32,000 crore due to inflation. The DMRC is yet to get sanction of soft loan from Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA). It had proposed a debt equity ration of 40:60 under which the state and central government would contribute 20% each, while the rest would be raised by soft loans from JICA.
All these have to be sorted out during Sreedharan’s tenure. The new boss will need sometime to get acquainted with the work culture. If phase 3 is successfully completed, phase 4 will automatically be on track, believe Metro officials.