Echoing Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit's views on not burdening DMRC with projects outside Delhi, urban development minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the Metro must focus on its work in the national capital as it was meant for intra-city transport.
"Yes, she is absolutely correct. It is not a question of whether the Delhi Metro has been burdened or not.... Metro is not inter-state railway. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was created for intra-city network.
If you want to run Metro inter-state, within different cities, what is the difference between Metro and railway?" Lovely asked.
Dikshit had shot off a letter last month to defence minister AK Antony, who heads the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Mass Rapid Transit System, in which she said the DMRC should not be given work outside the capital as it may affect phase three expansion of the metro network in Delhi.
"We do not want the DMRC to be burdened further," Lovely said.
The chief minister sent the letter to Antony after Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments made announcements related to expansion of Metro network in their states.
In her letter to Antony, Dikshit said the announcements were made without the approval of the GoM and without consulting her government, which has a 50% share in the DMRC.
The chief minister conveyed to Antony that maintaining the huge infrastructure of the Delhi Metro was a demanding task and diverting its resources to neighbouring towns may adversely affect its functioning and maintenance of its network in the capital.
Dikshit has asked Antony to advise the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana not to make announcements related to expansion of the DMRC network in these states without consulting her government.
Dikshit has been showcasing the metro network as a major achievement of her tenure as the chief minister the past 14 years.