Delhi Metro prepares to run airport line

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) Delhi Metro Saturday indicated that it is set to run the Airport Express Link by constituting a team of 100 employees after Reliance Infrastructure issued a notice saying it would not run the project.

"Delhi Metro has started all the necessary arrangements required for taking over the operations of the Airport Express Link, if any such requirement arises," said a statement here.

Reliance Infrastructure-led Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) had sent a notice June 27 to Delhi Metro intimating it would stop operating the line from Sunday night.

Delhi Metro Chairman Mangu Singh has also formed a core committee of seven officials to handle extreme emergency situations.

Officers and staff will be deputed for all the strategic departments involved in the running of trains such as operations, traction, electrical and maintenance, civil, signalling and communications, security, rolling stock and finance, said the statement.

"These officials, who are trained to operate and maintain all kinds of Metro systems, have already visited the airport line and taken stock of the situation," it said.

An Operations Control Manager (OCM) will be appointed with a dedicated team to take over all important Operations Control Centres (OCC) of the line, from where it is monitored. The OCC of the Airport Express link is located at Dwarka Sector 21.

The officials will be deputed as per a multi-layered structure where there will be separate teams involved in carrying out routine train operations and handling emergencies and exigencies.

The staff currently employed by the concessionaire in station management and train operations will continue to carry on with their responsibilities under the supervision of Delhi Metro team.

The board of directors of Delhi Metro Friday concluded that the notice was in violation of the concessionaire agreement and the ongoing arbitration proceedings.

The board decided to reject the notice and called upon the concessionaire to continue the operations.

If, however, they do not do so, Delhi Metro will be prepared to step in and operate the line in larger public interest, said the statement.

Delhi Metro and DAMEPL have been at loggerheads over the corridor when some serious defects were found in its structure. Operations on the Airport Metro Line were suspended July 8 last year and were restarted in January.

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