DMRC set to run Gurugram’s Rapid Metro from Wednesday
Officials said that a “smooth handover” of all the requisite software, physical infrastructure and staff had been completed on Tuesday, and that all Rapid Metro staffers would continue to retain their positions.Updated: Oct 23, 2019 06:20 IST
Starting Wednesday, operations of Gurugram’s Rapid Metro network will be run by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). In a statement released Tuesday evening, the DMRC confirmed that “services of the 11.6km long corridor will continue to operate as per the normal timetable as earlier.”
Officials said that a “smooth handover” of all the requisite software, physical infrastructure and staff had been completed on Tuesday, and that all Rapid Metro staffers would continue to retain their positions.
A meeting to oversee the handover was convened last Monday at Haryana Bhawan in Delhi by justice (retd) Kailash Gambhir and justice (retd) VK Gupta, who had been appointed by the Punjab and Haryana high court last month to supervise the transfer of operations and maintenance of the Rapid Metro to the DMRC.
This transfer was ordered to be completed by October 16. “However, there was extensive documentation work and almost 52 contracts between the original parties had to be transferred or signed afresh. We sought permission from the court last Tuesday and were allowed to complete the transfer by October 23,” said Chetan Mittal, advocate for the state of Haryana, in the matter.
Trains on the Rapid Metro corridor almost ground to a halt earlier this year, after the IL&FS-run Rapid Metro Gurugram Limited (RMGL) and Rapid Metro Gurugram South Limited (RMGSL) served termination notices to the Haryana Shahri Vikas Pradhikaran and Haryana Mass Rapid Transport Corporation (HMRTC) on June 7, stating that they would not be able to operate the service after September 7.
A potential crisis was averted after the Haryana government approached the high court, which ordered IL&FS to continue running the service until it could be handed over to the DMRC.
On September 16, the Haryana government and the DMRC entered into an agreement, allowing the latter to operate the Rapid Metro on a contractual basis. At the time, D Suresh, managing director, HMRTC, and chief administrator, Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP), had said, “This will allow the DMRC, which is an experienced Metro operator, to run the Rapid Metro for two months while we make arrangements to run it independently. The DMRC will not run the Rapid Metro in the long term.”
Suresh did not respond to request for comment on Tuesday. DMRC officials declined to clarify till when they would be operating the service. However, the contract between Haryana and the Delhi Metro has been signed for a period of five years, officials confirmed.
Meanwhile, the dispute over a final payout between Haryana and IL&FS is yet to be settled. A senior official acquainted with the matter said, “The Haryana government and IL&FS have agreed that 80% of the debt accrued will be paid to the concessionaire. This comes to about Rs 1,800 crores. However, the concessionaire’s claim is to the tune of Rs 3,700-odd crores. We are awaiting the CAG report before making any decision.”
The CAG report, which was to be prepared within a month, has not yet been tabled. “We have been told informally that it will take more time. We are waiting for their official response before the court,” Mittal said.