AAP, BJP trade charges over ‘delay’ in metro Phase-IV nod

BJP leaders Vijender Gupta (second from right) and other leaders before the special Assembly session on Thursday.

BJP leaders Vijender Gupta (second from right) and other leaders before the special Assembly session on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: SANDEEP_SAXENA

‘Cabinet passed proposal despite hurdles by BJP-ruled Centre’

A day after the Delhi Cabinet approved Phase-IV of the metro, Aam Aadmi Party and BJP MLAs in theAssembly on Thursday traded charges over the delay in the project, which the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had first proposed in 2014.

At a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, the six new corridors in Phase-IV of the metro’s network were approved.

Mr. Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had both termed it “good news” for Delhiites.

On Day One of the two-day Assembly session, AAP MLAs moved a motion to thank the government for the approval to the 103 km-long new phase of the metro, while BJP MLAs accused the AAP government of delaying it for three years.

In response to the discussion, Mr. Sisodia said the Cabinet had passed the proposal despite the “hurdles” created by the BJP-ruled Centre.

‘Fictitious calculations’

Citing some of the “obstructions”, Mr. Sisodia said, “The Finance Department said three of the corridors would not be viable. Then, they used fictitious calculations so the costs could escalate. The project cost has actually come down by ₹11,000 crore. We have reduced the burden on Delhiites by side-stepping their [BJP] conspiracies.”

Metro fares

He added that if the Delhi government could, the metro fares could be reduced by “25 to 30%”.

Accusing the Aam Aadmi Party government is “misleading” people, Leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta, on the other hand, questioned, “What has changed now after three years that you have passed the proposal? Why was the file kept pending for three years?”

Mr. Gupta alleged that the government had kept the proposal pending for three years in order to benefit private cab companies.

Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said the file regarding the proposal was sent back and forth by the Centre many times and that the Goods and Services Tax regime was also rolled out during the proposal stage, leading to new cost estimates.

Denying BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa’s allegation that the AAP government kept the proposal pending for three years, Mr. Gahlot said the DMRC Board had approved the final proposal and sent it to the Cabinet for approval last week.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:16:06 AM |

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