Delhi Metro’s Ghaziabad link faces financial crunch

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The extension of Delhi Metro to Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad town is in doubt due to financial crunch, a senior official said on Monday.

Uttar Pradesh’s Principal Secretary (Housing) Sadakant told the media that government agencies had promised to partly fund the Rs.1,480 crore project but were now backing out.

And the crisis was forcing the Uttar Pradesh government to “review” the project, he said.

Delhi Metro, which now extends to Noida and a part of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and Gurgaon and Faridabad districts in Haryana, had planned to take its network from Delhi’s Dilshad Garden to New Bus stand Ghaziabad.

Sadakant said the municipal corporation, the Ghaziabad Housing Board and the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corp (UPSIDC) were not financially sound to contribute their shares in the project.

Asked how the funding agencies can withdraw their commitment when the Uttar Pradesh cabinet had approved the funding pattern, the official said the situation would be reviewed in Lucknow.

The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) was to bear Rs.695 crore of the project, the municipal corporation Rs.246 crore, the housing board Rs.44 crore and the UPSIDC Rs.97 crore.

Accordingly, the GDA entered into a MoU with Delhi Metro.

But after Delhi Metro initiated work in Ghaziabad, the government has begun to have second thoughts.

Sadakant also said the project cost may escalate to Rs.3,000 crore.

“Things in Lucknow were not so clear at that time. They are visible here now.”

Rajendra Tyagi, a counsellor and social activist, accused the Uttar Pradesh government of not being interested in Ghaziabad’s development.

“When the UP government can finance Lucknow Metro with Rs.15,000 crore, why can’t it finance Ghaziabad Metro with one-fourth of that amount?

Tyagi said, “This city is the maximum revenue earner district in the state. The government should fund the project.”

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