Metro project in Ghaziabad suffers setback

Ghaziabad, Feb 26: Controversy has risen over the Delhi Metro extension from Delhi’s Dilshad Garden to New Bus Stand here with the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation unwilling to fund the project but the municipal commissioner seeking the Uttar Pradesh government’s permission to overrule it, said a councillor.

The municipal commissioner has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to overrule the board and allow the commissioner to proceed with funding of the project, said municipal councillor Rajendra Tyagi.

Giving details of the communication by the commissioner, Tyagi said this raised serious legal issues.

Addressing a press conference here, he said that the grant from infrastructure fund could be utilized for a project which incures regular income to the corporation. In case of the metro link, the corporation would not be receiving regular income while other government agencies would be benefitted by the price escalation in their properties, he contended.

Noting municipal corporation is a self-funding government organisation to maintain the city colonies which had been developed by the authorities and realtors and were handed over to it for maintenance, Tyagi claimed that the metro project in other states like Delhi were funded by the state government.

He said in the recent state budget, the Uttar Pradesh government had granted a sum of Rs. 15,000 crore for the Lucknow metro project.

“But the government has not provided any fund for Ghaziabad metro project and instead a further load of Rs. 185 crore had been imposed on the municipal corporation through distributed funding pattern made by the GDA (Ghaziabad Development Authority),” said Tyagi.

He claimed that the sharing experience with GDA had not been good for the corporation. In the past, GDA had assured to pay the money for the land which it sold to private builders but never did and the outstanding amount has gone to Rs. 500 crore.

He said it was due to this the municipal corporation has denied the funds for the metro project, but since the metro was needed, the municipality has requested the state government to provide funds.

The municipal commissioner could not be contacted for comments despite several phone calls.

IANS