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News Entry# 84417  
Jul 21 2012 (3:24PM)  Metro airport line fiasco vindicates anti-PPP view (www.dailypioneer.com)

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Commentary/Human InterestDMRC/Delhi Metro  -  

News Entry# 84417     
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Posted by: rdb**  82332 news posts  
With the country's first public-private partnership (PPP) Metro project, the Delhi Airport Metro Express coming to a sudden halt due to technical defects, Metro Man E Sreedharan's fears regarding the viability of such modes seems to be coming true.The former managing director of the DMRC, who headed the Planning Commission working group on Urban Transport for 12th Five Year Plan, had outright rejected the PPP model for developing core urban infrastructure projects, particularly metro-rails.The panel was of the opinion that no city anywhere in the world (except the failed experiment of STAR and PUTRA Metro Rail in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia) has attempted provisioning Metro Rail on PPP in the last few decades.“Even new metro rail projects, which are being developed, are largely being taken up on public sector mode rather than PPP, even though PPP has been an important financing mechanism of the other modes of transport,” the panel...
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said.The panel had, however, proposed to take up urban rail transit with primarily Government funding except in very rare cases of high density corridors of metropolitan cities where such PPP can be attempted for elevated corridors.The Airport Express stretch, which is part of Delhi Metro with Reliance Infrastructure pitching in Rs 2,880 crore of Rs 5,700 crore tab for its PPP deal, is running in financial losses.In fact, the Metro project has had a tumultuous journey after it first began operations in February 2011. The line has also been encountering several technical problems and was not able to run trains at the expected 120 kmph speed.However, Sumit Banerjee, CEO, Infrastructure of Reliance Infra, assured that his firm would continue to run the service but admitted that the corridor was not making profits.To make matters worst, the blame game between the DMRC and private operator has begun with the latter accusing the former of ignoring quality in civil works causing the technical snag that is said to be at the root of the recent suspension of services.Sources said that the Ministry is not happy with the private operator. The Sreedharan panel's observations seem to give a glimpse of what is in store for the Metro Express project.
On analysis of metro rail systems in 132 cities in the world, it emerged that 88 per cent have been developed and being operated in public sector mode whereas in only 12 per cent cities some form of PPP exists, it noted.
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