With the rating and profitability of the Delhi Metro railway declining in the eyes of the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation and it withdrawing from its earlier stand on funding the project, the Delhi Government and the Centre have now been left to fund an extra Rs.1,250 crore each for the ongoing Phase II of the project.

Delhi Finance Minister A. K. Walia said on Friday that a decision has been taken that out of the Delhi Government’s share of Rs.1,250 crore a sum of Rs.600 crore would be paid in 2010 while the remaining Rs.650 crore would be paid in 2011.

Incidentally this new demand has come up at a time when the decline in VAT collections and stamp duty has put a financial strain on the Delhi Government. But it is left with no option but to fund the project as it is in an advanced stage of completion and is scheduled to be fully completed before the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

The JBIC had earlier funded 64 per cent of Phase I of the Delhi Metro project which had cost Rs.10,890 crore. It had then committed itself to financing 30 per cent of the Rs.19,175 crore Phase II.

In Phase II of the project, 90 km of new lines are to be added in Delhi along with the creation of four new corridors.

The demand has also put more financial burden as orders worth Rs.2,200 crore have been placed for the acquisition of 131 new trains that are scheduled to be delivered to Delhi Metro by October 2010. These would seek to ease the rush on the system and also cater to the new lines.

The metro bill on the Delhi Government is set to go up further since work on Phase III of the project that would add another 112 km of lines in Delhi is also due to start this year. The Delhi Government’s share for this phase would be Rs.3,500 crore. The entire Phase III is expected to be completed by 2015 at a cost of nearly Rs.15,000 crore.

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