Shela Dikshit fall out: Delhi Metro eyes works outside

NEW DELHI: Within two weeks of Sheila Dikshit’s exit from Delhi government, it has emerged that she was the only stumbling block in Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) taking up work in cities outside Delhi, particularly in Uttar Pradesh. Top officials of the Urban Development Ministry and DMRC told that the corporation was always ready to take consultancy work to generate additional revenue.

With Arvind Kejriwal set to take change of Delhi, Metro projects in Noida, Ghaziabad and Lucknow may be expedited. A top DMRC official said overseeing Metro projects outside Delhi won’t have any impact on the agency’s working in the national capital.

A senior UD ministry official said they had been pushing for DMRC to help these cities get Metro networks despite the Dikshit government’s opposition. “There were some problems with the detailed project report that was prepared for Lucknow Metro project. We have sent back our comments suggesting certain modifications. Lucknow Metro will soon get a push and the extension of Metro networks in the NCR will happen soon. DMRC can oversee these projects. Someone needed to convince Dikshit how taking up such work is beneficial for DMRC and there won’t be any compromise of quality work in Delhi,” the official added.

Months before Dikshit’s exit, chief secretary Deepak Mohan Spolia had written a letter to DMRC advising it not to take up any work for Metro project in Lucknow. It had even cautioned DMRC from taking up any interim consultancy work warning that it may “embarrassment” to the organization at a later stage.

Prior to this, Dikshit government had objected to DMRC’s role in extension of two Metro corridors in Noida and Ghazaibad claiming that DMRC has too much work in its hands.

DMRC pulling out of Lucknow Metro project would have impacted the timeline that UP government has proposed for completion of the first phase of 24 km in the city. Soon after the report was published, UP government had claimed that their association is with DMRC. “There is hardly any chance of Arvind Kejriwal opposing DMRC role in making Metro projects realty in UP since he would like to gain more goodwill across the state,” said a ministry official.