Not getting support from AAP on Delhi Metro, ready to take charge: Union minister Hardeep Puri

File photo of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 06, 2018, 06.34 AM (IST)

The government has decided to go forward with Delhi Metro’s phase IV project and rapid rail system connecting the national capital with Meerut, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said.

The AAP government had in May 2016 given in-principle approval but the Union housing and urban affairs ministry returned the file, saying it needed to get financial approval first. The Delhi government did not respond since then.

Puri said the government can’t let commuters’ interest suffer if the Delhi government failed to approve projects.

“We are finding a solution. The solution is where we are not getting support from the Delhi government over the metro projects, we have decided that we will do it ourself. Rail corridors, we will do on our own? If they (Delhi government) are not willing to approve a project or provide funding, we are finding out the solution for it,” he told reporters here yesterday.

Last year, Puri had reportedly said the delay had pushed the cost of Metro Phase IV by Rs 12,000 crore, adding that the cost of Delhi-Meerut Rapid Rail Transit project had also gone up by Rs 1,000 crore.

The 104-kilometre network proposed in phase 4 will connect Mukundpur with Saket and will benefit south Delhi residents. It has been pending with the Delhi government for over two years.

Puri said if the Delhi government did not cooperate, the Centre will also implement the high-speed rail corridor between Delhi and Ghaziabad.

Highlighting his ministry’s achievement in the last six years, the Union minister said the contentious issues related to the Rohini residential scheme, launched in 1981 by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), has been resolved and the process for allotting the pending plots will be completed by the month-end.

Talking about the sealing drive in the city, he said amendments in Master Plan 2021 will be notified soon after filing an affidavit regarding it in the Supreme Court.

The former IFS officer said in the last six months, 13 states/UTs have become open defecation free, thus bringing the total open defecation free (ODF) states count to 14.

He added that 1,310 cities have been declared ODF during the same period, taking the total tally of ODF cities to 2,322.