Bengaluru Metro suffered loss of Rs 170 crore due to lockdown: Centre | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) suffered a loss of Rs 170 crore due to the suspension of services between March 22 and September 6 (169 days) due to the pandemic, the Centre has revealed.
Of all the Metro train services where figures were given, Delhi Metro topped the ‘loss’ list with Rs 1,609 crore. Other Metro operators that faced losses include Lucknow (Rs 90 crore), Chennai (Rs 80 crore) and Kochi (Rs 34 crore).
These figures were revealed by Hardeep Singh Puri, Union minister of state for housing and urban affairs, while responding to a question raised by Benny Behanan, Chalakudy (Kerala) MP, in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. These are some of the operational 50:50 joint venture Metro rail corporations of Central and respective state governments.
However, Puri didn’t reveal details of losses incurred by Metro operators in Mumbai, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Noida, Ahmedabad and Nagpur.
“Urban transport is an integral part of urban development, which is a state subject. As per Metro Rail Policy, 2017, financial sustainability during operations of metro rail system which also includes debt servicing is the responsibility of the state government,” Puri said.
However, he insisted there is no impact on loan repayment by various metro rail networks in different cities due to the nationwide lockdown.
BMRCL resumed services in a graded manner on September 7, but it is yet to enjoy the patronage it did prior to the pandemic. This is mainly because of the work-from-home concept and fear of the virus. BMRCL used to carry around 4.5 lakh passengers a day. However, the highest ridership after the lockdown is only 36,777 (September 16).
BMRCL operates services on both the Purple and Green Lines between 7am and 9pm. Earlier, it used to operate between 5am and midnight. The corporation’s expenses including salary and loan servicing amount to nearly Rs 80 lakh a day or Rs 25 crore a month. BMRCL has been using project funds to pay salaries. Non-fare box revenue from parking contracts, shop and ATM rentals and advertisements has also been affected because of poor patronage.
Asked about the poor patronage, a senior BMRCL official said: “It is not possible to estimate projected ridership as BMRCL is not equipped to carry out macro-analysis of the city’s economy. The ridership is a function of the level and type of economic activities and the confidence of the public in the service being safe from the pandemic perspective. BMRCL is geared to make travel safe with cooperation of all commuters to maintain social distancing. However, the first factor regarding economic activities is beyond the control of BMRCL.”
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Sagar Biswas

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