AP Govt wants Delhi Metro chief to apologise

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 23, 2008 06:46 hrs

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Government has termed the allegations made by Dr E. Sreedharan, Managing Director, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC), on the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project (HMR), as “baseless” and has asked for an unconditional apology.

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“If Dr Sreedharan does not tender an unconditional apology we will be left with no other alternative but to take legal measures for defamation,” Dr C.V.S.K. Sarma, Chairman, Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd, said at a press conference here on Monday.

Refuting observations made by Dr Sreedharan, in his letter to the Planning Commission on the HMR Project, Dr Sarma said as per the agreement for prime consultancy services between DMRC and Andhra Pradesh Government, the former was to work for and protect the interests of the State Government and the project.

“Right from the beginning, DMRC was involved in the preparation of the RFP documents, preparation of tender documents, committee meetings and even in the tender finalisation meeting but never did they raise any objection or seek clarification,” he said.

In a letter addressed to Dr Sreedharan it was stated that the Draft Concession Agreement brought out the scope for commercial exploitation of air space over land being provided to the BOT developer and the ground space of which was mostly required for creation of metro rail facilities as per the DPR was prepared by DMRC.

“We have also not given any right to the BOT developer for sale of either the land or even a square foot of the built area. In fact, we have a provision in the Agreement, according to which the developer has to hand over the land and built up area back to the State Government at the end of the concession period,” said Dr Sarma.

The letter said that the observation that the project might lead to a big political scandal some time later was untrue.

As per DMRC’s calculations, if commercial exploitation over land was not permitted, viability gap funding would have been around Rs 10,000 crore for the project, he pointed out. “Thus, as per their internal estimate, which was never disclosed to us, the Government should have given Rs 10,000 crore which has actually been saved. On the contrary, the State is getting Rs 30,311 crore during the concession period of 35 years,” he added.

Clarification from DMRC

In an e-mail, the DMRC has clarified that it neither smelt a scam in the way the BOT contract was awarded for the HMR nor did Dr Sreedharan say that the BOT model would backfire.

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“Dr Sreedharan, had, however, pointed out that Hyderabad’s success in BOT model should not be cited as an argument for changing the policy of the Government for funding Metro Projects in the country,” it said.

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