Delhi’s beloved lifeline, the Delhi Metro, is expanding and Phase IV of the expansion project is expected to be completed by 2021. Phase III is supposed to be complete by the end of 2016 by DMRC, with major lines running through the ever-busy ring roads in Delhi.
Phase IV will focus at extending the existing lines to every nook and corner of Delhi, while adding 75 stations on its route. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation(DMRC) projects would always get completed on time till Phase II, but Phase III saw some hurdles due to land acquisition issues.
The Delhi Government, led by the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP), has decided to aid DMRC with a Rs 1,546 Crore interest-free loan, to speed up the development processes.
Currently, any purchase by DMRC has to undergo a Value Added Tax(VAT) scrutiny to be paid to the city government, which adds to the initial budget allotted to DMRC. However, the amount is later reimbursed when validated against the purchases.
The loan will be provided in three installments; Rs 646 Crore in 2015-2016, Rs 450 Crore in 2016-2017 and Rs 450 Crore in 2017-2018, which have been probably decided by the prioritized needs of the DMRC.
Gopal Rai, Delhi Transport Minister, said, “We used to reimburse the VAT amount paid by the DMRC, but the process would consume more time and often cause delay to projects. For instance, the government had reimbursed the VAT amount, which was to be paid in 2010 to Metro, in 2014. As per the new rule, we will extend interest-free loan in advance which the Metro used to give to the government in forms of VAT.” Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, was also present when the decision was made on the relaxed rule.
DMRC is owned equally by the Government of Delhi and Government of India. It has received accolades from everyone around the world for being punctual, efficient and comfortable to the commuters in Delhi-NCR. Phase IV is expected to reduce the traffic jams on arterial roads and interconnect different stations on the lines to shorten travel times for commuters.
Such excellent initiatives are welcome by everyone, which will ensure the plans are completed on time and no disruption is caused to the work flow.
Various efforts have been undertaken by DMRC in the past to ease the commute for residents in Delhi:
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