The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) heaved a sigh of relief after Union finance minister P Chidambaram announced an allocation of Rs. 3,120 crore for the network's phase 3 expansion.
He also announced that the Centre would infuse Rs. 1,750 crore as external funding (allocation from foreign loans) for phase 3 construction and Rs. 650 crore as its own equity.
He offered Rs. 600 crore as subordinate debt, which will be spent on land acquisition and payment of taxes. The government has also sanctioned Rs. 120 crore for Metro's expansion into two more NCR cities — Faridabad and Bahadurgarh.
The DMRC has been facing a severe financial crunch as construction for phase 3 has already begun and they are operating under a tight 2016 deadline. The fresh funding will help them in covering the construction costs significantly.
"The allocation seems adequate. If we need financial assistance in future, we'll place the demand as revised expenditure," said a DMRC spokesperson.
In the last Union budget, the DMRC had got Rs. 2,216.69 crore. Construction for phase 3 began in December 2011. Since then, the DMRC has been able to complete only 13-15% of the civil work so far.