CM wants CBI probe into Air­port Line agree­ment

Al­leges Con­tract Ter­mi­nated To Ben­e­fit Con­ces­sion­aire

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

New Delhi: Chief min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal has asked for a CBI probe into the ter­mi­na­tion of con­ces­sion agree­ment of Delhi Metro’s Air­port Ex­press Line, which made DMRC li­able to pay an ar­bi­tra­tion amount of Rs 5,000 crore to the con­ces­sion­aire. CM al­leged there was “neg­li­gence and cor­rup­tion” in the whole thing.

In a let­ter to home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh and hous­ing and urban af­fairs min­is­ter Hardeep Singh Puri, Ke­jri­wal said the bur­den of pay­ing the ar­bi­tra­tion money will be passed on to the com­muters who are al­ready pay­ing hiked fares. The air­port metro is a PPP project in which DMRC had done the civil work while op­er­a­tions were con­ducted by Delhi Air­port Metro Ex­press Pri­vate Ltd. (DAEMPL) of Reliance In­fra­struc­ture. The cor­ri­dor was taken over by DMRC in 2013 and the agree­ment was ter­mi­nated. A three-mem­ber ar­bi­tra­tion tribunal had ruled in favour of DAEMPL, which was up­held by Delhi high court. The ar­bi­tra­tion sum in­cluded in­ter­est, so the con­ces­sion­aire stood to gain nearly Rs 5,000 crore.

The Delhi gov­ern­ment said on Fri­day that this was ma­nip­u­lated to ben­e­fit the con­ces­sion­aire by DMRC and its in-house con­sul­tants so that DAEMPL could ter­mi­nate the con­tract at a time and in a man­ner of its choos­ing.

“The project was not prop­erly ex­e­cuted by DMRC and there were a lot of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the con­tract, re­sult­ing in a Rs. 5,000 crore li­a­bil­ity. It is not a small amount and DMRC would in­crease fares to pay this amount,” deputy chief min­is­ter Man­ish Siso­dia said at a press brief­ing. He said Di­a­logue and De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion, a think tank of the Delhi gov­ern­ment, stud­ied the project and found grave ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

Ke­jri­wal wrote that the Delhi gov­ern­ment would have to share the bur­den of pay­ment even though it doesn’t con­trol DMRC as it is re­spon­si­ble for 100% op­er­a­tional losses of the cor­po­ra­tion. “This is a se­verely flawed ar­range­ment that needs an ur­gent re­view for re­me­dial ac­tion,” he wrote.

Siso­dia said Cen­tre cre­ated a Model Con­ces­sion Agree­ment for such projects, but in the case of the Air­port Ex­press Line, this model was al­tered. “As a re­sult, the claims got in­flated and led to an ex­tra bur­den of Rs. 5,000 crore on DMRC,” Siso­dia said.

Siso­dia al­leged that DMRC con­structed the project in such a way that even­tu­ally it would have to be ter­mi­nated. “The civil con­struc­tion had a lot of de­fects and 1,551cracks were found in the gird­ers,” he said. As a re­sult, Siso­dia claimed, trains on the cor­ri­dor run at a speed of 50km/hr in­stead of the de­sign speed of 120km/hr.

DMRC re­fused to com­ment on the al­le­ga­tions.

Ma­nip­u­la­tion and be­tween DMRC and DAEMPL DMRC mod­i­fied Model Con­ces­sion Agree­ment to give gave ex­tra gains to DAEMPL

of Air­port Ex­press Line done by DMRC

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