CM wants CBI probe into Airport Line agreement
Alleges Contract Terminated To Benefit Concessionaire
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