DMRC rejects Reliance Infra demand for better biz model

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has rejected certain concessions demanded by Reliance Infrastructure to restart the Airport Express line, which was shut down on July 8 following detection of defects on the civil structure.

Reliance Infra-led Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL) has raised issues related to financial non-viability of India’s first Metro project under a public-private partnership, and sought some restructuring of the model under which the Airport Express was being run.

But the request for restructuring has been rejected by DMRC on Friday.
“On request of DAMEPL, the dispute is now being referred to as arbitration. Similarly, the issue of termination of the concession agreement has been disputed and the same has also been referred for resolution through arbitration proceedings,” said DMRC managing director Mangu Singh in a statement.

A termination notice was given by Reliance Infra for the concessionaire agreement regarding the Airport Metro line between DMRC and the private operator on October 8. However, DAMEPL maintained its stand that disputes with DMRC will be sorted out soon.
“There is no reason for us not to not operate the Metro line. The repair work executed by DMRC is nearing completion. We will resume operations of the Airport Metro line soon after getting safety clearances,” said a DAMEPL spokesperson.

He said since both parties are in a ‘dispute resolution process’, they will prefer not to comment on the financial issues due to which the termination letter was given.

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