Apropos of the article “Metro models” (FE, April 2), globally, the high cost of construction necessitates that metro rail systems be owned and run by the state. Though paucity of funds may force the PPP model on it, the experience in India has not been a very happy one. For instance, the Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Ltd (DAMEPL), a special purpose vehicle for Reliance, on finding that revenues are not up to the latter’s expectations, walked out of the project, blaming the DMRC for “poor quality of construction. Mumbai was a different story where, with the project mired in controversies, delays and litigation, MMRDA asked Maharashtra government to terminate the concession agreement with R-Infra. In both the cases, the public sector banks that loaned the money were left holding the baby. Hopefully, Hyderabad Metro will not suffer the same fate. The success of a PPP venture depends on the level of trust the partners enjoy, and only if areas of responsibilities are clearly spelt out.
Former member, Railway Board
Million or metric?
This refers to the news story “Govt extends ban on pulses export till further orders” (FE, April 2). The story noted that “prohibition on export of pulses has been extended till further orders. But, there are two exceptions to this. One is export of kabuli chana. The second is export of organic pulses and lentils; but with a ceiling of 10,000 million tonne (mt) per annum and subject to certain conditions.” But I believe this is not totally correct, because the global pulses production is just 67 million tonne, of which India’s share is 25.5%.
Punjab Agricultural University