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Dr E Sreedharan: Metro-rail projects are facing challenges
01 Apr 2019
Popularly known as India’s Metro Man, Dr E Sreedharan, Principal Advisor, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), shares the main challenges faced by metro-rail projects in the present day:
Although the metro is a rail-based transport mode that is technically more advanced and sophisticated, the Government of India (GoI) considers it as state subject, whereas Railway is a central subject. GoI controls all technical parameters, safety certification and sanctioning powers but does not take the responsibility for losses and repayment of loans.
The Central Government does not have a long-term vision or a sound and sustainable policy (the Metro Policy of August 2017 is short-sighted and restrictive) with regard to raising funds for metro construction, meeting operational losses or building up a managerial and technical framework to complete projects in time and within estimated costs.
GoI considers private participation a must in all metro projects knowing-fully well that all PPP metro projects in the country have failed so far.
There is no effort on the part of GoI to reduce unit costs of metro projects through tax concessions or higher equity participation.