The Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL), the concessionaire company of the airport express line that is scheduled to be operational in 10 days, is likely to get the work order for proposed metro connection between Gurgaon and Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.
After taking a ride in the swanky high-speed train on Saturday on the 23 km corridor, Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit and Delhi Metro chief E Sreedharan gave indications about this. Asked about the possibility of awarding DAMEPL the proposed project Sreedharan told HT: “This is quite possible. However, the final decision is not yet taken.”
Later, Lalit Jalan, CEO and director of the concessionaire company said: “Talks are already on with the Delhi Metro about it. With all likeliness we will be awarded the project. This will be an extension to the corridor and logically a new player should not be involved.”
Sreedharan, who reportedly had expressed his resentment recently over the delay in making the line operational, however, was overwhelmed about the service and facilities on Saturday. He said: “We are very happy over the PPP model explored with the company at least for the express line project.”
The line, which has passed through turbulent time for the past many months due to several reasons - missing deadline on safety grounds, issues related to security arrangements, and speed among others, is finally going to be thrown open for commuters within 10 days.
“We will open the line immediately after CISF makes security arrangements on the corridor. On Friday, home secretary has categorically asked the CISF to complete the task within 10 days,” said Jalan.
However, according to Dikshit, the formal inauguration of the line may take place after a month. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may be invited to formally inaugurate the first privately owner metro service, said sources.
Dikshit expressed her satisfaction over the operational preparedness. She said: “This is very modern and of international standard and the only corridor in the country that connects the city with the airport. It has been built very beautifully.”