Special Correspondent

‘MD of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation fails to tender unconditional apology’

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to sue E. Sridharan, MD, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for “tarnishing its image” by frequently levelling “false and baseless” charges against the Rs. 12,132-crore metro rail project taken up for Hyderabad.

It will file a defamation case against Dr. Sridharan as he had not tendered an unconditional apology sought by the State government in its letter to him, Finance Minister K. Rosaiah, Municipal Administration Minister Koneru Ranga Rao and Managing Director of Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) N. V. S. Reddy, stated at a press conference here on Monday.

Rejecting the allegation that the mode of selection of Maytas Metro Limited to execute the project lacked transparency, they said detailed project report (DPR) for the project, indeed, was prepared by the DMRC. The DPR as well as the tender documents were placed on HMRL’s website for public scrutiny.

On the charge that the metro rail line alignment was altered and extended to benefit the bidder, Mr. Rosaiah said these changes too were proposed by the DMRC which had appointed four senior officers, including two directors, on the Technical Evaluation Committee on bids. They were satisfied with the process followed for selecting tenders and financial bids. The third line of the metro project was extended up to Nagole by 5km due to problems faced in locating a depot in Osmania University as originally planned. Even the report for this extension was prepared by the DMRC after studying the traffic and technical feasibility. If the developer owned lands near the rail-line alignment, it was accidental and the government did not know about it.

Improvement

Mr. Rosaiah described the Hyderabad project as an improvement over the Delhi model. He said the concessionaire was granted lease and not ownership right over the 269 acres of land surrendered for construction of 34 stations or over the built-up space in the structures planned at these stations. Leasing did not amount to selling away “family silver” as alleged by Dr. Sridharan.

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