The CAG has pulled up Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for relaxing payment conditions for R448 crore owed by Delhi International Airport (DIAL) in lieu of construction work carried out on Airport Metro Line.
In its report, the auditor said that when the Airport Metro link was envisaged it was agreed that DIAL would pay upfront R350 crore for civil work for the line inside the airport. An empowered group of ministers (EGoM) had approved this plan, the report said.
DIAL then asked DMRC to build a station near National Highway-8 to serve its commercial areas for which it promised an additional R98 crore to be paid in advance. Commercial rights of NH-8 and airport metro stations were given to DIAL. The CAG observed that DMRC relaxed the terms and allowed DIAL to pay the amount in four installments, which was in contravention of the government's approval for the payment of construction costs upfront.
The report said that DMRC had eased the conditions on a request by secretary of the civil aviation. The CAG also said that while the four instalments had to be paid on the first day of June 2009, September 2009, December 2009 and March 2010, DIAL did not make the payments as per the agreed schedule and an amount of R54.43 crore was still outstanding as on February, 2013.
However, DMRC in its reply to the auditor in October last year claimed that there was no favour or undue advantage to DIAL, the report says it is not clear "why stage payments were accepted, when it was very clear from the conception stage of the project itself that this payment was to be made upfront."