‘Not happy with Airport Metro, but no takeover’

Delhi Metro is unhappy with performance of Reliance Infra-operated Airport Express as it feels that the network is being run in a "commercial manner".

New Delhi: Delhi Metro is not happy with the performance of Reliance Infra-operated Airport Express as it feels that the network is being run in a "commercial manner" but has no inclination to take over the corridor, DMRC chief Mangu Singh said on Wednesday.

Admitting that there have been "shortcomings" in the operations of the 23-km Express Corridor, he said the business model adopted by the private concessionaire has not worked and that they don`t run Metro system like Delhi Metro, which, he said, operates only on the motto of providing service.

In his first interaction with the media after taking over as Delhi Metro Managing Director on January one, Singh said the operator has reduced the speed of the trains on the line from the existing 105 kmph to 80 kmph due to safety reasons as there are some technical problems in the track structure.

"Yes, there are many shortcomings and they are not up to our expectations and there is no doubt about that. But there is recession and their business model is really not working," he said.

Singh, who took over after E Sreedharan retired last year, said the Delhi Metro has always maintained that only government organisations can run passenger railway systems successfully.

The Airport Express Corridor, that connects New Delhi with the IGI Airport, is mainly based on property development, real estate and retail. "These things are not coming to that level of their expectations. So, there are problems," he said.

Asked whether the Delhi Metro would take over the Airport Metro Express in case of its failure by invoking a clause in the agreement, he replied in the negative.
"All these clauses in the contract are there. But it cannot be used day in and day out. They are mostly, in the beginning, used as a tool to rectify, tool to correct things. We are doing that. We are showing that clause every time to them. It does not mean that we takeover," Singh said.
Singh`s predecessor Sreedharan had once warned the Airport Metro that Delhi Metro would take over it if it did not improve.