NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Monday, December 6, 2021, informed the Delhi High Court that it would deposit Rs 1,000 crore within 48 hours in an escrow account towards an arbitral award of over Rs 4,600 crore in favour of Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL).
DMRC also suggested taking over Reliance Infra’s debt to the extent of the award money. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing DMRC, said that since the corporation was facing a “financial crunch”, undertaking a “sudden liability” would impact public interest and so authorities were working out a solution.
Reliance Infra previously operated the Delhi Airport Metro line. In 2008, DAMEPL had entered a contract with DMRC for running the airport metro line till 2038. However, a dispute erupted between them post which DAMEPL stopped operating the line and invoked an arbitration clause against DMRC.
It alleged violation of contract and sought termination fees. An arbitral tribunal in its May 2017 award had ruled in favour of DAMEPL that had pulled out from running the Airport Express metro line over safety issues and accepted its claim that running operations on the line was not viable due to structural defects in the viaduct through which the train would run.