AAP, BJP MLAs trade charges over delay in Metro Phase-IV

New Delhi: Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the oppositin BJP on Thursday traded charges in the Assembly over delay in the Metro Phase IV project, a day after the city government approved 103-km long six new corridors of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

Responding to Vote of Thanks motion by ruling party to congratulate Delhi government, the ruling party and the opposition blamed each other for delaying the project.

Slamming the BJP, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged the saffron party created hurdles in the project.

“Despite BJP’s conspiracy, the AAP dispensation cleared the Phase-IV of Delhi Metro for the benefit of Delhiites. Travelling by metro is a necessity for the people,” he said.

Sisodia alleged “fictitious” calculations in estimates pointing to the cost of the project, which was earlier Rs 57,000 crore and is now scaled down to Rs 46,000 crore.

“They (BJP) fight to take credit of metro phase IV, but we fight for the people of Delhi. Based on fictitious calculation, they tried to stall Phase IV of Metro by hatching a conspiracy.”

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Vijender Gupta, on the other hand, blamed AAP government for delaying the project for three years.

Gupta questioned the ruling party as to why the project was delayed for three years and sought to know what changed during this period that they cleared it now.

“You are trying to misguide the people. After three years what has changed that you clear it now,” he said amid interruptions by ruling party legislators.

Opposition MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa accused the AAP government for delaying the project for three years to “allow benefits to App-based cab services Ola and Uber”.

On recent Metro fare hike, Sisodia said the Delhi government should have the power to reduce the fare and a say in the fare decision.

“I can ensure that if given power, we will reduce metro fare hike by 25 to 30 per cent”, alleging that the BJP does not want the fares to come down.

Sirsa countered Sisodiya saying the government should reduce the fare and the BJP MLAs from Delhi will support the reduction.

Transport minister Kailash Gahlot also countered Opposition’s allegations saying there were several reasons that led to the delay in the project.

“We were in regular touch with the Centre about it. The files took rounds 4-5 times. Also, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced that led to recalculations of the estimates,” Gahlot told the House.