AAP govt missed almost all Metro board meetings before fare hike, says Swaraj India
Delhi government representatives in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Board attended only one of the 15 meetings of different committees in the last two years, Swaraj India said on Tuesday citing DMRC’s annual reports.
The allegations come close on the heels of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal saying that the state government was ready to take over Delhi Metro and provide efficient service.
“The annual report of DMRC states how concerned the Arvind Kejriwal government is about metro rail’s functioning. His officials were absent in almost all the meetings of important committees of the board and he is talking about taking over Metro operations,” said Anupam, national spokesperson of Swaraj India, a party floated by ousted AAP founders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav.
Documents shared by Swaraj India show that in the 2016-17 financial year, four meetings of the DMRC board’s audit committee were held on May 24, 2016, July 22, 2016, September 16, 2016 and January 16, 2017.
Sanjeev Nandan Sahai, the member of the board in the capacity of Delhi government’s principal secretary (finance), did not attend any of the meetings.
Sahai gave the property development committee meetings held on September 9, 2016 a miss too. He did not attend the two meetings of the property development committee held on May 18, 2015 and November 26, 2015 and also missed the only meeting of procurement committee held on May 21, 2017. He, however, attended one meeting of the audit committee in 2015-16, the party alleged.
When contacted, Sahai said he was busy and not in a position to comment on the issue..
Similarly, Vikram Dev Dutt, the then transport secretary, did not attend two meetings of the operation and maintenance committee in 2016-17 and Gitanjali Gupta Kundra, principal secretary (transport), gave the only operation and maintenance committee meeting a miss.
Dutt could not be contacted for a comment. Kundra said since she was no longer with the Delhi government, she would not remember why she missed the meeting in 2015.
Media advisor to the CM, Nagendar Sharma, refused to comment on the issue.
Kejriwal on Sunday had offered to take over Delhi Metro and promised to make the capital’s most popular mode of mass transport more efficient, his latest salvo in a face-off with the Centre over a proposed fare hike.
Anupam also accused Kejriwal of indulging in theatrics by projecting his government was opposed to the hike
“If both AAP and the BJP are against the hike in fares of Delhi Metro, then who actually increased the fare?” he asked. “And why was there no opposition in May, when both hikes were announced. It is political drama,” he added.