Responding to an urban development ministry proposal to extend the Airport Express Line to Gurgaon's Sector 29 to boost traffic and profit, DMRC Chief Mangu Singh said the extension has to be totally funded by the Centre and the Haryana government since no private player is likely to come forward.
After Reliance Infra promoted Delhi Airport Metro Express Private (DAMEPL) backed out of the 22.7-km line, it has become a white elephant for the government as it will now have to pay R1,820 crore as termination payment. The operational loses on the line is also in the range of R 5 crore a month.
Singh has also written to the ministry that the proposal of extending the line will take time to fructify and before doing all this, it was necessary to explore sources of funding for the payment that has to be made to the concessionaire on account of termination.
“The extension shall have to be totally funded by GOI and government of Haryana as equity/grant as no private bidder is expected to participate on the PPP basis,” Singh said. According to the original DAMEPL plan, non-fare revenues would have contributed around 70% to the total income of airport. But the retail revenues (commercial exploitation) are close to zero.
“DMRC will try to bring down the operational losses by reducing costs as well as by taking various measures to increase ridership, which will also have a positive impact on boosting the retail revenues,” Singh said.