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Dr E Sreedharan: Metro-rail projects are facing challenges

April 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.
SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN