KOCHI: Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) suffered a loss of `34.18 crore due to suspending of services owing to Covid-19.Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri revealed the figures while answering a question by Benny Behanan, MP, in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
The loss of Delhi Metro — the largest metro network in the country — stands at a whopping `1,609 crore. Bengaluru Metro incurred a loss of `170 crore followed by Lucknow Metro (`90 crore) and Chennai Metro (`80 crore).
Non-operation of services for more than five months, since the start of the nationwide lockdown on March 25, put Kochi Metro under severe financial stress as salaries had to be paid to around 1,200 employees, including Kudumbashree workers, and rail tracks and 25 trains had to be maintained.
It was only on September 7 that the Kochi Metro resumed services, by adhering to Covid protocol.“Kochi Metro has incurred losses due to Covid-19 like other Metros in India. A strong ridership in the coming months should help in meeting the operating expenses. This loss in the short term has to be met through government support. The loss definitely will adversely affect our accounts and balance sheet,” KMRL Managing Director Alkesh Kumar Sharma told TNIE.
Kochi Metro carries an average 60,000 passengers a day during peak months while the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation makes 2,700 trips per day carrying 1.5 million passengers, who on an average travel 17 kilometres each. The pandemic-induced lockdown, however, has not affected loan repayment by any of the above Metros.