No funds, Metro expansion stuck
The proposed extension of the Delhi Metro between Central Secretariat and Mandi House via Janpath is already a month behind schedule. However, it may be delayed further due to lack of funds.
The 3.2 km stretch, which was part of Metro's phase 3, is yet to get funds.
"Funds for the R450 crore project are yet to be allocated. We have no clarity even about the fund structure," said Kumar Keshav, director (operations), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). In a bid to decongest Rajiv Chowk metro station — the busiest metro station in the city — DMRC has decided to make the stretch operational as early as possible.
Accordingly, special permission for the stretch has been received and DMRC had floated tenders even before phase 3 had been officially awarded to the corporation.
Officials say the tenders were floated in November and were to be opened on December 10. But according to sources, tenders were submitted on January 20 and bidders are now going through technical bidding. "The entire process of technical bidding and financial bdding would take a maximum of one-and-a-half months," said Kumar.
Some construction majors that have participated in the tender process are Hindustan Construction, Afcons Infrastructure, Era Construction, Larsen & Toubro, among others. "This line will give respite from the recurrent congestion at Rajiv Chowk," said a senior DMRC officer.
On the stretch, two stations would be constructed — at Janpath and at Mandi House.
"Once it's operational, commuters from Badarpur will not have to change trains at Rajiv Chowk to take Line 3 for Noida or Anand Vihar. They can directly go through Mandi House," said Anuj Dayal, spokesperson, DMRC.