India’s first privately funded and operated metro rail feeder train service, Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon, has hit a stumbling block even before its start. The reason: the assembly elections in Haryana.
The election code of conduct is in place and because of it the Haryana government and the consortium company of ITNL Enso Rail Systems (IERS) and DLF Metro Limited, that would implement the project, have not been able to sign the concession agreement.
The deadline to sign the agreement for the Rs 900 crore project, incidentally, ended on Tuesday, September 15. The 6.1 km-long metro rail was supposed to be a feeder to the Gurgaon extension of the main Metro line coming from Delhi.
According to rules, the agreement was to be signed within two months of the company getting the letter of award from the Haryana government. The company received the letter on July 16.
Senior government officials said the agreement would now have to be signed after the formation of the new government.
Sanjiv Rai, managing director and chief executive officer of IERS, told Hindustan Times that the company had requested the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to extend the deadline.
The authority was to sign the agreement on the behalf of the state government.
Rai claimed the delay in signing the concession agreement would not affect the project significantly.
“Neither the Haryana government nor we wish to take the risk and jeopardise the project by signing the concession agreement now when the election code is in force. We were supposed to sign it on or before September 15. Now we would do it after the elections are over,” Rai said.
As per the terms of the letter of award, the company would complete the project within 30 months of signing of the concession agreement. Delay in signing the agreement means delay in commencement of the project and thus delay in completion.
Haryana’s assembly was dissolved on August 21. Elections will be held on October 13.