Metro Railway systems to pass Security Cost to Government

New Delhi:  To encourage private participation in metro rail and rapid rail projects, the Urban Development (UD) Ministry is planning to pass on the cost of security to the government. The ministry wants that the cost of deploying Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which provides security at all the existing and upcoming metro projects in the country, should be borne by the government and not private players.

To bring this proposal to effect, the ministry has moved a Cabinet note that the cost of security for all metro and rail transit projects coming up on public-private partnership should be borne by the government and not by the operator.

The note says that passing on the cost of security personnel to the metro operators would lead to an increase in passenger fare by about 40 per cent. “Providing security of metros through CISF is an expensive proposition which may have an adverse bearing on the viability of the project in case it is to be borne by the metro railway,” the Cabinet note says.

Earlier, the Reliance Infrastructure-owned Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited, which no longer runs the Airport Express line in Delhi, had a dispute over payment for the cost of deploying CISF personnel, which came to about Rs.18-20 crore. The money is yet to be deposited with the government as the case is under arbitration.

The DMRC is owned 50 per cent by the state government and the remaining by the Central government. The newly opened Jaipur Metro was earlier fully owned by the state but now the composition has been changed to 50 per cent each to state and Centre.

Reliance Infrastructure is also coming up with two metro lines in Mumbai in partnership with Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. In Hyderabad, L&T is the private party building the 71.1-km long elevated metro rail project.

“The cost of security becomes an issue in case of private players. If the metro rail project is owned by the state or the Centre then these issues do not crop up. The private player would obviously want to pass on the cost of maintaining the security to the passengers,” said a senior official.