Ridership, profit lower than projections for Delhi Metro's Phase 3: CAG

by IANS |

New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) The actual daily ridership of different corridors in Delhi Metro was 15 to 87 per cent lower than the projections with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Ltd registering a shortfall of Rs 3,689.06 crore in earnings from property development and property business, against the projections, for Phase 3, a CAG report said.

"The actual daily ridership of different corridors was 15.12 per cent to 87.63 per cent lower than the projections. DMRC not only failed to provide last mile connectivity services, but also did not adhere to the guidelines relating to Multi Modal Integration facilities.

"There was a shortfall of Rs 1,847.87 crore in earning from Property Development and Rs 1,841.19 crore from Property Business, against the projections for Phase-III," said the government auditor's report titled "Performance Audit on Implementation of Phase-III, Delhi Mass Rapid Transit System by DMRC, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs", tabled in Parliament on Thursday.

The report further stated that since the DMRC did not prepare line-wise operational profit or loss statements as per the sanction letters, it is unable to claim the loss, if any, from the respective state governments.

The Delhi Mass Rapid Transit System Project Phase 1, covering 65 km, was conceptualised in September 1996 and completed in November 2006 by the DMRC. This was followed by 124.93 km long Phase 2 during 2006-2011, 160.74 km long Phase 3 during 2011-2019, and Phase 4 covering 103.93 km which is under implementation and scheduled to be completed by December 2024.

This audit was taken up during November 2018 to March 2020 with the objective to examine whether planning was done in a rational manner to ensure economic viability of corridors and selection of the most appropriate technology, implementation in terms of project execution and contract management was done with due care, economy, and in a timely and transparent manner, an adequate mechanism was in existence to monitor the project, and lastly, the operation and maintenance were efficient, and the planned benefits were achieved after commercial operation of Phase 3.

The audit observed that there were inconsistencies in recommending and approval of corridors as the benchmark of eight per cent of Financial Internal Rate of Return was not adhered to.

"After sanctioning of Phase-III projects for Lines 7 & 8 and its extensions, the train operation was changed from nine cars to six cars, thus eliminating the possibility of catering to the increased ridership in future. Further, in case of selection of technology, rails of relatively low value of hardness, as compared to standards, were procured, which may result in increased maintenance cost," the report says.

Traction transformers and auxiliary main transformer of higher capacity were procured due to estimation of higher projected demand and size of stations, respectively. Also, half height Platform Screen Doors were installed instead of full height Platform Screen Doors resulting in installation of higher capacity electrical equipment and consequent higher energy cost, it added.

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