Reliance Infrastructure, the operator of the airport line of the Delhi Metro Railway Corp (DMRC), on Monday said it is seeking Rs 2,800 crore from DMRC as termination payment of the concession agreement.
The operator, RInfra-led concessioner Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL), on Monday said as per the terms of the concession agreement, DMRC is liable to pay it termination payment, full debt and 130% equity, which amounts to Rs 2,800 crore.
DMRC took over the operations of the airport line with effect from Monday to ensure that the public is not inconvenienced.
DAMEPL claimed that the termination arose owing to DMRC’s event of default, and the matter has been referred to arbitration, in accordance with the dispute resolution mechanism specified in the agreement.
The DAMEPL authorities on Monday said that DAMEPL, a special purpose vehicle of Reliance Infrastructure, had terminated the concession agreement with DMRC for the airport metro line nearly nine months back, by issuing a notification on October 8, 2012.
The termination clause had to be invoked by DAMEPL, as DMRC had persistently failed to repair the defects in the civil structure designed and built by DMRC, it claimed.
Despite the lapse of nine months and repeated requests by DAMEPL, DMRC failed to make alternate arrangements for taking over the operations of the metro line, it said.
The Union urban development minister Kamal Nath said that the contentions between the Delhi Metro and Reliance Infra were a contractual and legal matter but the DMRC would continue to run the line. “The airport line would be run by the DMRC so that there is no inconvenience to common citizens. It would be seen from a legal point on what the solution would be. This is a contractual and legal matter.
They had as per contract served an arbitration notice. Arbitration has started. Now they say we can’t run because there is not enough passenger traffic. There were hopes related to ridership but it is only 5,000. They said it is not possible to run the line with this ridership,” he added. However, DMRC refused to comment on the issues saying the matter is sub-judice. According to them, a notice issued by DAMEPL to DMRC for termination of the agreements is in violation of the concessionaire agreement and the on going arbitration proceedings.