BENGALURU: Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) continues to be in the red, reveals the half-yearly financial statement approved by its Board of Directors in New Delhi on Friday. Improved showing on the operational front reveals it is chugging along a healthy track.
According to unaudited results for April 1 to September 30, 2018, the overall loss registered after accounting for interest and depreciation (decrease in value of assets) stands at Rs 272.36 crore. This includes an interest amount of Rs 57.31 crore paid during the six-month period for loans to the tune of nearly Rs 5,000 crore, borrowed from national and international funding agencies. The depreciation amount stands at Rs 274.13 crore.
“The operational cash profit for the first half of this financial year stands at Rs 59.08 crore. The cash profit during the corresponding period last year (2016-2017) stood at Rs 105.57 crore. However, the latter is inclusive of the reimbursement of losses of Rs 85.88 crore made by the state government annually to BMRCL,” said a senior official.
“When that reimbursement takes place later for this financial year, we will be on a very sound footing, operation-wise,” he added. An average of 3.7 lakh commuters per day uses the Metro. While last year’s six-month period had the full Phase-I operational only in the middle of the period (June 17, 2017), this half-year enjoyed the benefit of trains running on the entire 42.3km network, boosting its operational revenue, another official said.
An additional sum of Rs 9 crore was spent on housekeeping and ticket operations staff from April to September this year — Rs 54.94crore compared to Rs 45.26 crore last year. Altogether, 1,467 employees have been contracted for the Underground section of Reach-1 from Sampige Road to National College, Reach-4 which runs from National College to R V Road, and Reach 4A which runs from R V Road to Puttenahalli.
Repairs and maintenance cost of the Metro network worked out to Rs 15.03 crore, a huge increase of over Rs 5.99crore over the six months of last year. Confirming that the Board okayed the unaudited results, BMRCL Managing Director Ajay Seth said the Metro was taking steps to boost patronage on its trains.
November saw dip in passengers
Contrary to the surge in ridership expected with the commissioning of more six-car trains, the ridership of Namma Metro dipped in November, compared to the previous month. While the monthly ridership in October touched 1.16crore, it slid to around 1.06crore in November. All along, Metro has registered a steady increase in ridership, month on month.
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited Managing Director Ajay Seth said, “We are also trying to assess the reasons for huge reduction in ridership by nearly 10lakh passengers in just one month. It looks like ridership has reached a plateau now. We feel there is a need to improve last-mile connectivity to goad more Bengalureans to commute on the Metro. We are working closely with BMTC to facilitate that.”