TN Gov’t Helps Chennai Metro Debt Burden, MD Pins Hopes On Additional Lines – The New Indian Express

Express press service

CHENNAI: Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) may not have defaulted on loans from external or internal funding agencies, but its financial health is not stable. In cash deficit, he is unable to pay interest and repay the loan, according to a report prepared by the 17th Lok Sabha Housing and Urban Affairs Standing Committee (2021-22). Currently, CMRL is making the debt payment with the help of the state government.

The report said low user numbers, delay in project completion, lack of expected out-of-box collection, and interest on the JICA loan were the reasons for CMRL’s losses. Although ridership is increasing, it was still about half of what was forecast in the Detailed Project Report (DPR). Currently, the average daily ridership was around 1.8 lakh to 2 lakh while that predicted in the DPR was 4.33 lakh (2020-21).

According to the report, the payment of the initial amount of a loan owed by CMRL is Rs 658.36 crore, of which only Rs 32.07 crore has been paid. “Chennai Metro continues to do its best to increase revenue and reduce costs wherever possible to fill this gap, the report added.

MA Siddique, Chief Executive Officer (MD) of CMRL, who recently took over, told TNIE that CMRL will break even in five years, with the help of an additional network to be added in the next three years. The metro tackles issues such as the first and last mile. “There could be a huge increase in ridership like what happened in New Delhi once more lines are added; it could help the metro tremendously,” he said.

Inaugurated in 2015 with only the Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount line, the different sections of CMRL’s Phase I and Phase I extension were commissioned at different times. The final stage of Phase 1 was commissioned in February 2019 and that of the Phase I extension in February 2021, at a total cost of over Rs 20,000 crore.

Sivasubramaniam Jayaraman, National Manager – Electric Mobility and Transport Systems, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP), told TNIE that the metro provides the most reliable, fastest travel experience and the most comfortable compared to other services, but it comes with a big investment.

“According to the “People Near Transit” study conducted by ITDP India in Chennai, only 9% of people have access to metro services within 1 km. “It is high time to improve accessibility at the station and provide safe and affordable last mile options,” he said. study on accessibility and affordability.

Subway tracks drain government funds
A recent report by PRS Legislative Research said investment in rail metro projects was one of the largest expenditures undertaken by the Union Department of Urban Transport. This resulted in insufficient funds for other schemes. In 2022-2023, capital expenditures for metro projects were estimated at 87% of the ministry’s total capital expenditures

CHENNAI: Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) may not have defaulted on loans from external or internal funding agencies, but its financial health is not stable. In cash deficit, he is unable to pay interest and repay the loan, according to a report prepared by the 17th Lok Sabha Housing and Urban Affairs Standing Committee (2021-22). Currently, CMRL is making the debt payment with the help of the state government. The report said low user numbers, delay in project completion, lack of expected out-of-box collection, and interest on the JICA loan were the reasons for CMRL’s losses. Although ridership is increasing, it was still about half of what was forecast in the Detailed Project Report (DPR). Currently, the average daily ridership was around 1.8 lakh to 2 lakh while that predicted in the DPR was 4.33 lakh (2020-21). According to the report, the payment of the initial amount of a loan owed by CMRL is Rs 658.36 crore, of which only Rs 32.07 crore has been paid. “Chennai Metro continues to do its best to increase revenue and reduce costs wherever possible to fill this gap,” the report added. MA Siddique, Chief Executive Officer (MD) of CMRL, who recently took over, told TNIE that CMRL will break even in five years, with the help of an additional network to be added in the next three years. The metro tackles issues such as the first and last mile. “There could be a huge increase in ridership like what happened in New Delhi once more lines are added; it could help the metro tremendously,” he said. Inaugurated in 2015 with only the Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount line, the different sections of CMRL’s Phase I and Phase I extension were commissioned at different times. The final stage of Phase 1 was commissioned in February 2019 and that of the Phase I extension in February 2021, at a total cost of over Rs 20,000 crore. Sivasubramaniam Jayaraman, National Manager – Electric Mobility and Transport Systems, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP), told TNIE that the metro provides the most reliable, fastest travel experience and the most comfortable compared to other services, but it comes with a big investment. “According to the “People Near Transit” study conducted by ITDP India in Chennai, only 9% of people have access to metro services within 1 km. “It is high time to improve accessibility at the station and provide safe and affordable last mile options,” he said. study on accessibility and affordability. Subway rails drain government funds A recent report by PRS Legislative Research said investment in subway projects was one of the largest expenditures undertaken by the Union Department of Urban Transport. This resulted in insufficient funds for other programs. In 2022-2023, capital expenditures for metro projects were estimated at 87% of the ministry’s total capital expenditures

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