Delhi Metro is likely to go in for a global tender for its proposed Phase-III expansion in April which will add another 65 km to the ever-increasing network, a lifeline for the people in the national capital.
The ambitious Phase-III project was approved in-principle by the Delhi government in October last year and Delhi Metro is expecting a final nod from the government in March or April this year.
The third phase investment is around Rs 25,000 crore over a five year plan period.
"We are hoping to get a final nod from the government in March or April and in parallel, we have already started working on preparatory measures like surveys. Once the government approval is there, we will go for a global tender for partnership around the same time," Mangu Singh, director (Works) of Delhi Metro, said.
"So far, we have created radials in and around Delhi and in Phase-III we are proposing circles connecting these radials. This will provide more interchange points and flexibility to travellers," he said.
The first phase cost Rs 10,000 crore while it was Rs 20,000 crore for the Phase II.
For the Phase-III, Delhi Government cleared three routes -- from Central Secretariat to Red Fort (6.8 km), Rajouri Garden to Mukundupur (12.4 km) and Jahangir Puri to Badli (3.4 km) -- as suggested by the Metro in October last.
There will be 23 interchange stations to ensure seamless interchange connectivity, a Metro official said.
On the funding pattern, which has been a bone of contention for the Phase-III, Delhi Metro chief Sreedharan earlier said it is most likely that the state and central governments will share 40% of the project cost.
"It will be like the two governments contributing 20 % each and the remaining 60% of the cost will be raised through loan," he said.
To a query on who would provide loan, Sreedharan said in all probability it would be funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency but added that they have not given a commitment in this regard.
The Planning Commission is of the view that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) should fund the ambitious project along with the city and central governments to reduce their financial burden.
Besides, the planning body is also of the view that the proportion of investment for the Phase-III, that envisages to connect another 65 km of the capital through Metro, should be increased by the two governments, which jointly own the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).