Dikshit hasn’t lost hope yet on Delhi’s Airport MetroSeptember 10th, 2012 - 12:50 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has not yet given up hope on the city’s Airport Metro project, suspended since July 8 for structural faults, and also does not feel that a public-private partnership model is unsuited for such projects.
“We should not jump to conclusions that the public-private partnership model is bad. We have such a model in our power projects and it is doing quite well,” Dikshit told IANS.
“At present, both parties - Delhi Metro and the Reliance concessionaire - are seeking alibis. I have spoken to the urban development ministry secretary. He told me that the report should be with us in some time. Then we will see.”
Services on the Rs.5,700-crore ($11.5-billion) line, touted as an urban infrastructure showpiece, was stopped July 8 because of major structural defects. Reliance Infrastructure, which operated the line, said civil defects were noticed from day one of the service.
Even as the blame game continues between Delhi Metro and Reliance, none is certain when the line will restart. Launched mainly to ferry people to Terminal III of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the 23-km line averaged a daily ridership of 20,000 commuters.
Around 70 percent commuters, who make use of the line, were air passengers.
“The urban development secretary and a few other officials recently inspected the Metro line. It is in a bad shape,” said a senior official in the union urban development ministry, the nodal department dealing with such projects in the national capital.
“Keeping in mind the extensive repair work that is required, I think the repair work will take some more time to complete. I feel the service may be able to resume only after three months or so,” the official added.
A help desk for commuters set up by the operator has been receiving 50 calls a day on an average and over five emails asking when the operations will resume. “Calls are pouring in. We have refunded money to about 4,600 passholders so far,” an official said.
Queried about the indefinite suspension, E. Sreedharan, principal advisor and former managing director of Delhi Metro, told IANS: “I am not in possession of all the facts. So I am unable to comment.”
In a bid to ease the burden of commuters, the Delhi Transport Corporation has increased the frequency of buses between the airport in the south to the Inter State Bus Terminal in the north, via Dhaula Kuan, Connaught Place and the New Delhi Railway Station.
“We have doubled the number of buses on the route from 33 to 66. We will try to add more buses on the route,” said an official at DTC, which had reduced the frequency after the launch of the line, as many commuters opted for the Airport Metro.
But the commuters say there is no comparison between a bus and the Metro.
“It is really tiring,” lamented Iqbal Malik, a businessman and a frequent flyer. “I had got so much used to the airport Metro line. It was so convenient to go to the airport. I hope the service would restart soon.”
- Shorter airport metro services likely to resume (Lead) - Sep 10, 2012
- Delhi's airport Metro may re-start late August (Roundup) - Jul 07, 2012
- Probe into airport Metro flaws, August-end re-start unlikely - Jul 16, 2012
- DMRC, R-Infra passing the Express buck: Dikshit - Jul 16, 2012
- Repair work of Airport Metro to end by October: Kamal Nath - Sep 17, 2012
- Delhi Metro airport line to open by March (Lead) - Feb 05, 2011
- Airport Metro line services suspended from Sunday - Jul 07, 2012
- Efforts on to start Metro's Airport Express Line before Games - Sep 28, 2010
- Government proposes restart of Airport Metro - Aug 22, 2012
- Airport Metro feeder bus service from Wednesday - Sep 13, 2011
- Airport Metro to remain shut till late August (Lead) - Jul 07, 2012
- Delhi Airport Express resumption date unclear - Aug 14, 2012
- Airport Metro offers bouquet of mobile phone links - Apr 30, 2012
- Delhi Metro airport line set to commence - Feb 23, 2011
- Airport Metro increases frequency during peak hours - Aug 05, 2011
Tags: air passengers, alibis, bad shape, blame game, commuters, concessionaire, delhi metro, development ministry, indira gandhi, indira gandhi international airport, metro line, metro project, ministry secretary, nodal department, partnership model, power projects, public private partnership, sheila dikshit, showpiece, urban infrastructure