Insisting that the Delhi Metro network needed proper upkeep, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wrote to Defence Minister AK Antony, seeking DMRC not be given work outside the Capital at the moment. Sources said that Dikshit wrote to Antony, who heads the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Mass Rapid Transit System, after announcements related to expansion of Metro network, made by Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Governments upset her.
In the letter, Dikshit is learnt to have said that the announcements were made without approval of the GoM, and without consulting her Government, which has a 50 per cent share in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). She also said Phase I of Delhi Metro was completed about a decade ago and its condition was deteriorating. It needed maintenance and repair.
Dikshit also pointed out that the DMRC was already working on the Phase-III project of the Metro’s expansion plan in the Capital, along with preparing a Detailed Project Report for Phase-IV, they said.
She wrote that a monorail project in Delhi will also be entrusted to the DMRC once preliminary studies are done. In her letter written last month, the Chief Minister has told Antony that maintaining the huge infrastructure of the Delhi Metro is a demanding task and diverting its resources to neighbouring towns may adversely affect its functioning and maintenance in the Capital.
The Chief Minister has also asked Antony to advise the Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana not to make announcements related to expansion of DMRC network in these States without consulting her Government, sources said.
Dikshit has also apprised Antony of an earlier discussion in a meeting, where it had been brought up that the DMRC should not be given too much work outside Delhi.
With the Delhi elections scheduled later this year, the performance and development of the Delhi Metro, which the Government has been showcasing as a major achievement, is crucial for the Chief Minister. Following the success of the DMRC, several States have demanded similar networks in their own cities.
The DMRC’s expertise and resources are being provided to many of them. Last week, DMRC signed a MoU with the Kochi Metro Rail Limited for building Phase I of the metro network in the city.