Published On:January 30 2023
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Green hurdle hits Delhi Metro hard, project delays may escalate cost by up to 15%.

Delay in granting permission to fell and translocate trees falling on the way of the alignment of three upcoming metro corridors has resulted not only in cost escalation of about 15% but has also led to a considerable delay of up to 30 months on certain sections, sources in the LG office said recently.

The officials said the three lines would have been completed at a cost of Rs. 10,479.6 crore but would now cost not less than Rs. 12,048.5 crore, causing an additional expenditure of about Rs. 1,568.8 crore.

Under its phase-IV expansion plan, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is constructing six corridors – Aerocity to Tughlaqabad, Inderlok to Saket G-block, Mukundpur to Maujpur, Janakpuri West to RK Ashram and Rithala to Bawana and Narela – measuring 103.9 km. Three of these lines– Aerocity to Tughlaqabad, Mukundpur to Maujpur and Janakpuri West to RK Ashram – have been categorised as priority corridors and the Centre had approved the construction in March 2019.

Source said the tenders were called and even the letter of award was given to the selected bidders, but the sconstruction work got stuck due to “unjustifiably and inordinately delayed permissions” from the environment and forest department of the Delhi government to fell or translocate nearly 2,500 trees.

“The hurdles were finally removed due to LG VK Saxena’s persistent and decisive intervention. He wrote to the chief minister twice and even raised the issue during his one-on-one meetings with him,” said an official.

Even as the delays have led to the cost overrun by at least 15 per cent, the fresh bids, as a result of retendering of the work on these corridors, might further increase the cost that will have to be borne by the Delhi Metro,” said another official.

Sources added some of the files seeking approval of the department of environment and forest to fell and translocate trees were pending for up to 30 months.

Officials of the Delhi government did not respond to TOI’s queries on this matter.

“The Sonia Vihar to Yamuna Bridge stretch of the Maujpur to Majlis Park (Mukundpur) corridor is delayed by almost 29 months while the Yamuna Vihar to Bhajanpura and Sonia Vihar to Khajuri Khas stretches are running late by over 15 months,” said an official.

“Similarly, the Sangam Vihar to Saket G stretch Tughlaqabad-Aerocity corridor is delayed by 30 months,” the official added.

Another official, however, said the delay and cost overruns are also dependent on several other factors.


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