Delhi Metro gets ₹8,390-crore loan from Japan agency for Phase 4 expansion work
The cash-strapped Delhi Metro body has received a major funding boost, with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a bilateral cooperation agency of the Japanese government, sanctioning a loan of ₹8,390 crore for Metro’s Phase 4 expansion plan.
Anuj Dayal, executive director, corporate communication, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), said, “The loan agreement between the government of India and JICA for the sanction of loan for Delhi Metro’s Phase 4 expansion was signed last Friday. The amount sanctioned is Japanese Yen 119,978 million (Approximately ₹8,390 crore).”
While DMRC started work under the Phase 4 in December 2019, HT has learnt that the body couldn’t start work on some of its underground sections because of questions over funding.
To be sure, the JICA loan is meant specifically for the construction of the Phase 4 corridors and can’t be used by DMRC to meet its operational losses.
While there are six corridors, spread over 104 km, proposed under Phase 4, the central government has approved three corridors so far. The three corridors will add 65km to the existing 389km network. The approved corridors are Aerocity-Tughlakabad (20.2km), Maujpur-Majlis Park (12.5 km) and Janakpuri West- RK Ashram corridor (28.9 km). DMRC started work on the Janakpuri West-RK Ashram corridor in December 2019.
However, the nationwide lockdown last year, and the consequent labour shortages, meant that construction work was stalled in the initial months, but picked up later on. DMRC, HT has learnt, has been incurring huge operational losses since Metro services in the city resumed on September 7 last year. The corporation’s revenues took a severe hit due to the 169-day closure enforced due to curbs put in place to stem the spread of Covid-19.
In January this year, DMRC asked the Centre and Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana for financial assistance of ₹1,678.41 crore. Officials said this assistance has not been sanctioned as yet.