BENGALURU: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Principal Adviser Dr E Sreedharan on Tuesday dropped a warning that Namma Metro was heading towards becoming “an ailing public sector undertaking”. He blamed the “ego and false prestige” of BMRCL officials for the delay in completion of projects and the massive cost escalation.
Briefing newspersons in the company of DMRC adviser S N Venkata Rao, Sreedharan questioned the financial sustainability of Namma Metro. “Project costs have gone up by 60 per cent and it will not be able to pay back the loans taken,” he said. “Depending on the government for subsidies every year will be a very sad state of affairs,” he said. The Namma Metro services being operated presently are incurring huge losses daily.
The logjam caused for a year at the Kempe Gowda Underground station (Majestic station) for a year now could have been redressed with the help of Delhi Metro much earlier, he said.
Sreedharan asked why Namma Metro did not seek help from DMRC when a cutter head broke. “Why are they refusing to take help from others? Why are they having such a huge ego in such matters?” he asked.
Coming down heavily on Namma Metro for not sticking to the Detailed Project Report prepared by him, Sreedharan said the DPR had stressed that the underground work at Majestic was the most important part of the project and work on it had be taken up from Day One. “I had predicted Majestic will be the waterloo for Namma Metro and the DMRC even offered to do that portion for BMRCL,” Sreedharan said.
Technocrats Must Head The Project
Sreedharan insisted that only technocrats were capable of heading a complex, crucial project like Metro and lashed out at the State government for repeatedly posting bureaucrats as heads. “IAS officers are generalists not specialists and cannot take crucial technical decisions,” he said.
Insisting on the continuity of a person at the helm to ensure accountability, Sreedharan said Namma Metro had got its fifth Managing Director in a short span. He wondered who will finally be at the helm to take ownership of the financial problems in future.