The Delhi Metro has sent a report on free rides for women, to the AAP government, seeking at least eight months’ time to make necessary preparations, including seeking approval from the fare-fixation committee, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said, on June 12, 2019. He said the report received by his government from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), had cited an annual requirement of Rs 1,566.64 crores, to fund the fare exemption.
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said the fare fixation committee’s approval was just a ‘formality’ and rejected the apprehension that it could be a roadblock in his government’s ambitious scheme. “The role of fare fixation committee is just a formality, though we feel no fare fixation is involved,” he said. The fare-fixation committee, formed by the centre for Delhi Metro’s fare-related decisions, may take time to set up. Since the inception of the Delhi Metro in 1995, only four such committees have been formed, officials said. Headed by a serving or retired high court judge, the committee comprises of the chief secretary of the Delhi government and officials of the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
The Delhi Metro, in its report, gave two options for the implementation of the scheme. Under one, pink tokens would be given to women and it would take eight months to implement. Under the other, tokens and cards would be provided but this option would take at least one year to implement, he said. The chief minister said his government will talk to the DMRC, to implement the scheme in under eight months. “We will seek a break-up of the eight months’ time cited by the DMRC from its officials, because it should not take this much time. It only requires to re-open its token counters that have been closed and arrange for (pink) tokens to be provided to women commuters,” he said.
The proposal of the AAP government, to exempt women from fare in public transport buses and metro trains, is being seen as a major sop before the assembly polls due early 2020. The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), which runs around 3,900 buses, has already submitted its proposal. The government will provide subsidy to the public transporters, under the proposed scheme. Kejriwal said the free ride scheme will lead to a 50% jump in the number of female commuters. Currently, women comprise 30% of daily ridership of the metro trains.
Women travelling in Delhi Metro to and from NCR destinations may get fare exemption: Minister
Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot has said that proposed free travel for women on the Delhi Metro, may be given to passengers who either board the train or alight from it at stations in the national capital
June 11, 2019: Women travelling in the Delhi Metro to and from NCR destinations, may get the benefit of the AAP government’s fare exemption scheme, if their boarding or de-boarding station lies in the national capital, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said, on June 10, 2019. The Delhi Metro trains run across Delhi and also connect NCR destinations including Gurugram, Faridabad, Bahadurgarh and Ballabhgarh in Haryana and Ghaziabad and Noida in Uttar Pradesh.
“We can do this for such women commuters travelling between Delhi and NCR destinations,” Gahlot told reporters. The Transport Department and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) are preparing a detailed report on the proposal. The government has extended the last date for receiving feedback on the proposal from stakeholders, to June 30, 2019. Earlier, the feedback was to be collected till June 15, 2019.
Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) vice-chairperson Jasmine Shah said around 3,700 suggestions and opinions of the people were received through email, till June 10, 2019. The transport minister said that the report of the DMRC was awaited. There was no major issue, as far as implementing the fare exemption in public transport buses was concerned, he said. Electronic ticketing machines being used by conductors in DTC and cluster buses, will have to be slightly modified, so that a woman passenger could be counted while showing no fare charged for her commute, he said.
Free transport for women: Delhi government likely to bring cabinet note on June 11, 2019
The Delhi government is moving fast, to implement its decision to make bus and metro rides free for women and is likely to bring a proposal in this regard before the cabinet on June 11, 2019
June 7, 2019: Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot has written to the principal secretary-cum-transport commissioner Rajeev Kumar, on June 3, 2019, asking him to take necessary steps to give shape to the proposal of providing free public transport to women in the city. In a letter to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chairman, Kumar sought to know the proposal’s financial implication, technical feasibility and modalities and challenges in its implementation. Kumar also said in his letter that a note in this regard, will be put before the cabinet on June 11, 2019.
Similar details have also been sought from the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMITS), which together run around 5,500 public transport buses in the city. A meeting of senior officials of DMRC, DTC and DIMITS was held on June 6, 2019, to discuss various aspects of the proposal.
Speaking at a press conference earlier in the day, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the government has a ‘concrete’ plan, to provide free public transport rides to women and there is no lack of funds for it. Announcing the proposal earlier this week, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that his government will provide subsidy to the three public transporters, for providing free rides to women commuters. He had said the proposal was expected to materialise in the next two-three months, extending an estimated figure of Rs 700-800 crores, as expenditure for financing the scheme for the remaining months of the financial year.
Delhi government mulls making Delhi Metro, bus travel free for women in the national capital
In a bid to encourage use of public transport, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that his government is considering making Delhi Metro and bus travel free for women in the city
June 3, 2019: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, on June 3, 2019, said his government proposes to make metro and bus travel free for women in the national capital. The proposal will be implemented within 2-3 months, he said. The move comes ahead of the assembly elections scheduled early in 2020.
“Women will be given free rides in DTC, cluster buses and the Delhi Metro. The government will bear their travel expenses,” Kejriwal said at a press conference. For the remaining part of this financial year, the cost of this comes to Rs 700-800 crores, he said. Kejriwal said he has asked officials to study the proposal. The government has also sought feedback from the public. Officers have been given a week to prepare a detailed report after which a proposal will be brought in the cabinet, he said.
The step will not lead to congestion in the Delhi Metro, as the daily ridership will increase by just one lakh. Currently, 25 lakh people travel by metro daily, he said. At a public meeting on June 1, 2019, the chief minister had said his government was considering to make metro and bus travels free for women in Delhi ‘to encourage them to use public transport’.
Delhi Metro Phase IV: AAP government says centre made ‘unilateral changes’
In what could escalate the tussle between the AAP government in Delhi and the centre over the Delhi Metro Phase IV, the Delhi government has alleged that the centre made ‘unilateral changes’ in the project, without communicating any reasons
April 3, 2019: The AAP government in Delhi, on April 2, 2019, alleged that the centre had made ‘unilateral changes’ to the Delhi Metro Phase IV project, without taking the Delhi government into confidence or even communicating any reasons for its change in stand. In a statement, the Delhi Transport Department said, “If the government of India was of the opinion that only three ‘priority corridors’ were required to be considered in the first stage, it could have very well communicated to the Delhi government and in that case, the Delhi cabinet could also have approved only these three corridors.”
In early March 2019, the union cabinet approved three of the six proposed corridors. “The Delhi government had approved all the six corridors proposed by the Delhi Metro in Phase IV. However, the government of India, thereafter, approved only three corridors out of the six approved by the Delhi cabinet. Once the project report has been approved by the Delhi government, the government of India should not have unilaterally made any changes. A clear stand of the Delhi government is that the government of India should also have approved all the six corridors of Delhi Metro Phase IV,” the statement said.
Secondly, the component-wise cost has also been ‘revised’ by the centre ‘unilaterally’, without assigning any reasons or justification, the Delhi government alleged in the statement. “Equity component of the Delhi government has been increased from 8.08 per cent to 16.36 per cent,” it claimed. “Similarly, the entire amount towards land acquisition has been apportioned to the Delhi government, whereas in the earlier three phases, it was apportioned between government of India and the Delhi government equally,” it said.
Meanwhile, amid a report that Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot had directed his department to tell the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) not to start work on Phase IV until it got further clarifications on the project’s funding, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs termed the Delhi government’s allegation that their share of expenditure for the three corridors approved by the centre was more than the earlier proposal, as ‘baseless, false and derived on false assumptions’. “So far, no letter has been received from the Delhi government on this matter. It has come to the notice only from the press reports that the Delhi government has asked Delhi Metro to stop the work, till the matter is cleared,” the statement by the ministry said.
Blame-game over cost escalation
The fact of the matter is that as per the proposal of the three corridors submitted by the DMRC in January 2018 (the cost of which was proportionate to the cost of the six corridors approved by the Delhi cabinet earlier), the total liability of city government was Rs 8,872 crores, whereas, as per the cost approved by the centre in March 2019, the total liability of Delhi government has come down by more than Rs 1,000 crores to Rs 7,844 crores, the HUA ministry claimed. The Delhi government in its statement also alleged that its share in the project cost has also been ‘increased substantially’, as compared to that approved by the Delhi cabinet. “Contribution of the Delhi government towards three ‘priority corridors’ (including additional 244 cars) has been increased from 20.77% to 31.44%. The above unilateral changes are not only against the federal system of government but also substantially increase the financial burden of the Delhi government,” the Delhi government’s statement said.
“The delay of four years by the Delhi government, in providing approval for Phase IV, has escalated the cost of the project by about Rs 5,000 crores. Similarly, the delay in approving the Delhi-Meerut RRTS projects by two years has led to a cost increase of Rs 3,100 crores,” the HUA Ministry claimed.
Delhi Metro Phase IV: State government seeks clarification over approvals and funding pattern
The Delhi government has sought clarification from the centre, over the reduction in the number of approved corridors in Phase IV and the change in the funding pattern for the project
April 2, 2019: The Delhi government has raised objection with the centre, over the latter’s approval of only three of the six metro Phase IV corridors and the change in the ambitious project’s funding pattern, an official said on April 1, 2019.
“The government has sought clarification over the number of corridors approved by the centre. The Delhi government had approved all the six corridors of Phase IV, while the centre gave clearance to only three of them,” a senior government official said.
“Even in the three corridors approved by the centre, the funding pattern has been changed. So, clarification was sought over how and why the number of approved corridors were reduced and funding pattern was changed,” he said. The Aam Aadmi Party government has also sought clarity over the compensation to be paid for land acquisition, the official said.
The centre had approved three corridors of the Delhi Metro’s Phase IV at an estimated cost of Rs 24,948 crores. The share of the centre and the Delhi government in it was pegged at Rs 4,154 crores each, while the rest of the funding is to be done through support from lending agencies.
Delhi Metro Phase IV: DMRC sought approval for three ‘priority corridors’
In a letter to the centre and the Delhi government, the DMRC had sought approval for three ‘priority corridors’, out of the six corridors proposed under the Delhi Metro Phase IV project
March 8, 2019: The Delhi Metro had, in 2018, written to the city government and the centre, seeking nod to begin work on the three ‘priority corridors’, which were approved on March 7, 2019, by the union cabinet under the Phase IV project, DMRC sources said.
Of the six proposed corridors, the three that got the cabinet nod are: Mukundpur-Maujpur (12.54 kms), Janakpuri West-RK Ashram (28.92 kms) and Tughlakabad-Aerocity (20.20 kms). “These were the three ‘priority corridors’ mentioned in the DMRC’s communication to the Delhi government and the centre last year,” a DMRC source said. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had approached the two authorities when the Phase IV was yet to get an approval from the city government. The other three proposed corridors are: Rithala-Narela (21.73 kms), Inderlok-Indraprastha (12.58 kms) and Lajpat Nagar-Saket G-Block (7.96 kms).
After the union cabinet’s decision, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the people of Delhi were ‘disappointed’ by the centre’s decision to approve only three of the six corridors. Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia told reporters after the approval that the city government will give its share of Rs 9,707 crores towards the construction work under the project, which is estimated to cost around Rs 45,000 crores. Union government officials said the three corridors were approved owing also to their ‘financial viability’.
There will be 17 underground and 29 elevated stations in the three corridors, whose total length will be 61.679 kms – 22.359 kms underground and 39.320 kms elevated. Union minister Hardeep Puri at a press conference said that the total completion cost of these three metro corridors will be Rs 24,948.65 crores.
- The Aerocity-Tughlakabad corridor will have 15 metro stations – Aerocity, Mahipalpur, Vasant Kunj Sector-D, Masoodpur, Kishangarh, Mehrauli, Lado Sarai, Saket, Saket G Block, Ambedkar Nagar, Khanpur, Tigri, Anandmayee Marg Junction, Tughlakabad RIy Colony and Tughlakabad.
- There will be 25 stations in the RK Ashram-Janakpuri West corridor – RK Ashram, Motiakhan, Sadar Bazar, Pulbangash, Ghanta Ghar/Sabzi Mandi, Rajpura, Derawal Nagar, Ashok Vihar, Azadpur, Mukundpur, Bhalaswa, Mukarba Chowk, BadliMor, North Pitampura, Prashant Vihar, Madhuban Chowk, Deepali Chowk, Pushpanjali Enclave, West Enclave, Mangolpuri, Peeragarhi Chowk, Paschim Vihar, Meerabagh, Keshopur, Krishan Park Ext and Janakpuri West will come under this corridor.
- In the Maujpur-Mukundpur corridor, there will be six stations – Yamuna Vihar, Bhajanpura, Khajuri Khas, Soorghat, Jagatpur Village and Burari.
Delhi Metro Phase IV: Cabinet approves three out of six corridors
The union cabinet has approved the Mukundpur-Maujpur, RK Ashram-Janakpuri West and Aero City-Tughlakabad corridors, as part of the Delhi Metro Phase IV project
March 7, 2019: The union cabinet, on March 7, 2019, approved three out of six corridors of the Delhi Metro’s proposed Phase IV, finance minister Arun Jaitely said. According to the government, the corridors of Mukundpur-Maujpur, RK Ashram-Janakpuri West and Aero City-Tughlakabad have been approved by the cabinet. There will be 17 underground and 29 elevated stations in the three corridors, whose total length will be 61.679 kms.
Delhi Metro Phase IV: City government allocates Rs 500 crores in Budget 2019-20
The AAP government in Delhi has allocated Rs 500 crores for the Delhi Metro’s Phase IV project, in its budget for 2019-20
February 27, 2019: Delhi Metro’s Phase IV, which has become a bone of contention between the city government and the centre, was allocated Rs 500 crores in the budget, which was presented on February 26, 2019. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia presented a Rs 60,000-crore budget for 2019-20 in the Delhi assembly, laying emphasis on the education, health and transport sectors.
The 104-km-long Metro Phase IV project was estimated to be completed by 2021, after the Delhi government’s in-principle approval to it in February 2016. It has yet to start, despite approval of the Delhi cabinet. “The government has approved the proposal of Phase IV of Delhi Metro Project comprising six corridors with the length of 103.93 kms. With the completion of the Phase IV project, the total length of the Delhi Metro network will become 453.93 kms,” Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s finance minister, said. “I propose Rs 500 crores in the budget 2019-20 for Metro Phase IV project,” he said.
Delhi government raises objections over lack of provision for metro Phase IV in budget 2019
The AAP government in Delhi has accused the centre of meting out ‘step-motherly treatment’ to Delhi in the interim budget, claiming that the centre has made ‘no provision’ for the metro’s Phase IV project
February 4, 2019: Complaining that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs made ‘a lot of noise’ about the Delhi Metro Phase IV project, Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, expressed disappointment over the interim budget 2019 that was presented by the finance minister on February 1, 2019. “It was a surprise for us. The Phase IV work, which needed funds, has been neglected in it,” Sisodia alleged.
Addressing a press conference on February 2, 2019, Sisodia said AAP MPs will raise this issue in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, in what could trigger a fresh tussle between the centre and the Arvind Kejriwal-led government. There was no immediate reaction from the union government.
The Delhi Metro has been given a grant of Rs 414.70 crores in the budget 2019-20, as against Rs 50 crores in the last fiscal. Finance minister Piyush Goyal shared the details, while presenting the interim budget in the Parliament.
According to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) sources, the grant has been given for work on Nodia and Ghaziabad sections of the network.
“Delhi Metro Phase IV needed budgetary provision but the centre has forgotten to do it. Earlier, they (centre) had even said that if Delhi government wouldn’t do it, the centre itself would do it. What happened to all the claims?” Sisodia asked.
The deputy chief minister also alleged that the Modi government had ‘meted out step-motherly treatment to Delhi in the budget’. “They have done it in giving financial assistance and now they have done it in Phase IV too, they have forgotten about it” he claimed.
Delhi government, centre accuse each other of ‘stonewalling’ Delhi Metro Phase IV
The tussle between the AAP government in Delhi and the union government over Phase IV of the Delhi Metro has escalated, with each party accusing the other of delaying the project
January 22, 2019: The AAP government has ‘stonewalled’ the progress of the Delhi Metro’s Phase IV project, leading to ‘substantial delay’ and inconvenience to the people, union government sources claimed, on January 21, 2019. The fresh accusation comes amid an apparent tussle between the centre and the Delhi government, after the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation imposed a condition of 50-50 per cent operational loss sharing, while giving its approval to the Phase IV of the metro network, in December 2018.
A Delhi government spokesperson countered the allegation, saying, ‘any delay that is now happening, is from the centre’s side’. “The Phase IV project was cleared in December 2018 and we had made the conditions quite clear. We will respond further, as and when we receive any communication from the centre,” the spokesperson said.
Highly-placed sources in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) alleged that ‘delay tactics of the Delhi government has derailed the metro Phase IV project’. Sources said the Delhi government, in 2016, had not ‘conveyed financial commitments in their in-principle approval of the Phase IV’. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, on January 24, 2017, had submitted the proposal without commitment of sharing of 50 per cent subordinate debt towards central taxes by the Delhi government, as the city government did not approve of it, they said. This was ‘contrary to the existing practice being followed for all 50:50 joint venture metro rail projects’, including earlier phases of the Delhi Metro, sources claimed.
The DMRC, on January 10, 2019, had submitted the Phase IV detailed project report, comprising six corridors with revised costs, sources said. “The HUA Ministry has started the appraisal process,” sources added. “The proposal is under appraisal by an independent agency in terms of the Metro Rail Policy, 2017. Since, the proposal of the Delhi Metro Phase IV has again been changed by the Delhi government to six corridors, it again requires fresh inter-ministerial consultation, as part of the appraisal process,” a source said.
Centre examining proposal for Delhi Metro’s Phase IV, parliament informed
The centre is examining the proposal for Phase IV of the Delhi Metro, after it was forwarded by the city government in the last week of December 2018, the parliament was informed
January 4, 2019: In reply to a written question in the Rajya Sabha, minister of state for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, on January 3, 2018, said that the centre has received the proposal for Phase IV of the Delhi Metro from the Delhi government, on December 28, 2018.
“The proposal of Delhi Metro Phase IV has been received from the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, through the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on 28.12.2018 and is under examination,” Puri said.
In reply to another question, he said that no fund has been approved for the project, so far. The project is estimated to cost around Rs 45,000 crores.
Meanwhile, the ruling AAP in Delhi alleged that the centre was ‘conspiring’, to obstruct the Metro Phase IV project, on the pretext of operating loss issue.
Raising the issue in the Delhi assembly, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said, “In a conspiracy, the centre is planning to stop work (on Metro Phase IV). We have heard that a hurdle will be created and the Delhi government will bear the entire operating loss.” He said the central government should hand over the Delhi Metro to the city government and it will be run efficiently.
The Metro Phase IV project, delayed by about two years, was approved by the Kejriwal government on December 21, 2018. The fresh tussle between the centre and the Delhi government appears to be brewing, after the AAP dispensation imposed a condition of 50-50 per cent operational loss sharing, while giving approval to the Phase IV of Delhi Metro.
Centre-Delhi tussle over loss sharing on Delhi Metro Phase IV
The Delhi Metro’s Phase IV could witness further delays, with the Delhi government imposing a condition for 50-50 per cent operational loss sharing with the centre and rejecting liability on the loan provided by JICA
January 2, 2019: A fresh tussle between the centre and Delhi government appears to be brewing, after the AAP dispensation imposed a condition of 50-50 per cent operational loss sharing, while giving approval to the Phase-IV of Delhi Metro. Though Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry officials said it is examining the condition that the centre equally share any operational loss with the AAP government, they asserted that it was a state subject and that other states may raise similar demands. An official of the ministry said Delhi government has also put a condition in its approval that it will not have any liability on the loan provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to fund the project.
Earlier this month, the Arvind Kejriwal government had approved the much-awaited Phase IV of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). “We are examining both conditions imposed by Delhi government in approving the Metro Phase IV. Why should the central government bear operational losses? It is a state-subject. The state government has the responsibility of operations of the metro. If we agree on these conditions, other state governments will also raise same demands. However, we are currently examining the Delhi government’s conditions,” an official said.
“Delhi government has never borne any liability in the past also. This condition was put in just to make things clear,” a Delhi government official said. “In the past one year, the ridership has gone down due to various reasons. So, if Delhi has to pay 100 per cent of the operational loss, it will not be financially viable for it,” the official said. Also, there are certain corridors that may not be profitable in future or even reach the break-even level, the official added.
Delhi Metro Phase IV finally approved by government
The Delhi government has approved the much-awaited Phase IV of the Delhi Metro, at an approximate cost of Rs 45,000 crores and set a completion deadline of 2022 for the project
December 19, 2018: The AAP government, on December 19, 2018, approved the much-awaited Phase IV of the Delhi Metro, which deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said will boost public transport in the national capital. The approval was given at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Briefing reporters about the decision, Sisodia said, “The cabinet has approved the Phase IV of Delhi Metro. It will boost public transport in Delhi.”
The deputy chief minister said the government will give its share of Rs 9,707 crores towards the construction work under the project, which is estimated to cost around Rs 45,000 crores. He said that the Cabinet has also cleared a proposal for the purchase of 334 rolling stocks.
The Delhi Metro’s Phase IV was planned to provide last mile connectivity to the new housing hubs in the NCR. With the completion deadline set as 2022, the work on the project was expected to begin in 2017. However, due to the delay in approvals from the Delhi government, the project faced delays. The 104-km network proposed in this phase, is expected to cater to 1.5 million passengers daily.
The proposed extensions under Phase IV are:
- Rithala to Narela (21 kms)
- Inderlok to Indraprastha (12 kms)
- Tughlakabad to Aerocity (20 kms)
- Lajpat Nagar to Saket G-Block (8 kms)
- Janakpuri to RK Ashram (28 kms)
- Mukundpur to Maujpur (12 kms)
- HUDA City Centre to Gurugram Railway Station (29 kms)
- IFFCO Chowk to Dwarka Sector 21 (12.5 kms)
- Gurugram Railway Station to Palam Vihar (23 kms)