Delhi Metro takes over Airport Line from Reliance Group

New Delhi, July 1 (ANI): The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) took over here on Monday, the Airport Express Line from the private Reliance Infra company, after the latter terminated the concession agreement.

The takeover of the 22.7 km long metro line, which runs till the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI), was completed within three days after the company announced its pullout.

Confirming the takeover, Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath said, "Now the DMRC will run the airport line of the metro, so that the common people do not face any problems. ".

According to a Reliance company spokesperson, DMRC could not provide alternate arrangements for taking over the metro line, even after the expiration of the Concession Agreement in October last year.

Reliance also claims that the DMRC is now liable to pay the company a termination payment equal to 130 percent of the Adjusted Equity and 100 per cent of the Debt Due for the project, as the termination has arisen owing the default by DMRC.

Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath said the legal issues would be examined. He added that a group of consultants would look into a favourable Public Private Partnership (PPP) model to run the metro line effectively.

"We shall appoint consultants to find the best model. The PPP (Public Private Partnership) model has been a success in our country by about 90 percent, be it about roads or railways. Work on the PPP model is going on in Mumbai and Hyderabad. So it is not that the PPP model is bad. There are different types of PPP models. It is not that one type of this model fits all. Every project deserves a separate type of PPP model. So we shall have consultations in the matter as to whether PPP can flourish or not, how would the traffic be, and how much would be the capital cost and how much subsidy would be given. All these would be formulated by the consultants," he said.

DMRC took over the management of the rail line along with an Operations and Maintenance Team of 100 officials to handle it.

DMRC said in a statement that an operations and management team of 100 officials has been deputed to handle the operation of the line.

Managing Director of DMRC has also formed a core committee of seven senior officials to handle the extreme emergency situations.

However, the staff currently employed by the private operator in station management and train operation will continue to carry on their responsibilities under the supervision of DMRC team. DMRC officials yesterday had a meeting with the operator of the airport metro express line for smooth transition of services.

The metro line to the airport was shut down in July last year after problems arose due to defects in the civil structure, which were later rectified and the operations were resumed in January this year. (ANI)