The fast expanding Delhi Metro has been alloted Rs 5,579 crore (Rs 55.79 billion) in the Union Budget, a jump of about 31 per cent over the previous year, which the authorities described as ‘adequate’ for its ongoing projects, including the Phase III expansion.
However, the jump can be attributed to increased assistance through soft loan as there has been a reduction under all the heads except the pass through assistance or JICA loan.
Centre, which holds 10.95 per cent equity in the Phase III, will provide Rs 193 crore (Rs 1.93 billion) for its completion.
The amount, that was Rs 1,006.64 crore (Rs 10.06 billion) last year, has seen a substantial reduction on the deadline year.
An amount of Rs 91 crore (Rs 910 million) has been set aside for its expansion into other NCR areas such as Noida, Ghaziabad, Bahadurgarh.
The amount was Rs 125 crore (Rs 1.25 billion) last year as part of the total Rs 4258.61-crore (Rs 42.58 billion) allocation.
This year, the pass through assistance i.e. the loan amount provided by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) is at Rs 4917.41 crore (Rs 49.17 billion), a considerable jump over last year's Rs 2596.79 crore (Rs 25.96 billion).
Rs 378 crore (Rs 3.78 billion) accounts for land acquisition and Central Taxes of Phase III compared to last year's Rs 530.18 crore (Rs 5.3 billion).
"The funds provided in the Budget are adequate for the ongoing works of DMRC project at present and as the project progresses during the year it would be possible for DMRC to approach the government for more funds in the form of Revised Estimates and supplementaries as required from time to time," DMRC chief spokesman Anuj Dayal said.
On completion, the phase-III will add 140 km to the existing operational network.
In 2015, metro expanded to 213 km with 160 stations and seven different corridors crisscrossing the city while bringing into its fold nearby satellite townships like Faridabad.
Yellow Line got extended to Samaypur Badli on the city's north and Violet Line till the busy office hub of ITO in the heart of the capital.
Ridership touched a record high of 32.05 lakh (Rs 3.20 million) on August 28.
Image: Delhi Metro. photograph: Reuters