Banks send notice to Airport Metro for payment of dues

The original concessionaire of the project DAMEPL was Reliance Infrastructure Ltd.

PTI| Updated: Nov 17, 2013, 19:26 PM IST

New Delhi: A consortium of lenders led by Axis Bank has sent notice to Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL) for payment of loans which have turned into non-performing assets (NPA).

The banks and financial institutions, which have a total exposure of Rs 1,800 crore to the project, have served notices to Reliance Infrastructure Ltd and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) recently for recovery of debt, banking sources said.

The original concessionaire of the project DAMEPL was Reliance Infrastructure Ltd.

DAMEPL, a special purpose vehicle of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, in July this year had said that they terminated the Concession Agreement with DMRC for the airport metro line nearly nine months back, vide its notice dated October 8, 2012.

DMRC about five months ago took over the operations of 22.7 km-long Airport Express link along with maintenance team of 100 officials.

According to sources, the loan was given to original concessionaire and termination of contract does not absolve Reliance Infrastructure Ltd from repayment of debt.

Besides Axis Bank, consortium includes Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Dena Bank and Canara Bank.

IIFC (UK), a subsidiary of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) is also part of the consortium as it has given loan of USD 54 million (about Rs 350 crore) for import of rolling stock of the project.

The total ridership of the Airport express line during the peak of its operations was recorded at 21,000 per day.

The metro line was shut down July last year after problems arose due to defects in the civil structure, which were later rectified and it resumed operations in January this year.

Since then its ridership has been recorded about 11,000 per day on an average.