The Punjab and Haryana High Court will on Monday make a decision on the operational continuity of the Gurgaon Metro, the country's first fully privately built rapid rail system here. This follows the expiry of 90 day termination notice served by Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon Limited (RMGL) and Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon South Limited (RMGSL), the two special purpose vehicles (SPVs) floated by IL&FS for the rail project, to Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on June 7.
HUDA had gone to HC on Friday challenging the validity of termination notice and sought courts directions on continuity of public utility by these two SPVs operating the metro link. The HC had deferred the hearing for Monday and ordered service be continued till Monday midnight. Gurgaon Metro is an important public utility carrying nearly 60,000 passengers every day and forms part of the 'Millennium City's daily commute lifeline.
While some sources opine that the two IL&FS SPVs decided to terminate operations for financial reasons, the company has said it served termination notice to HUDA over 'breach of terms" as per the concession agreement Either ways, say sources, HUDA should have initiated steps to take over the utility and ensure continuity of operations.
"Why wait till expiry of termination notice period to challenge validity. Where is the contingency plan to take over and run the operations” said sources. RMGL and RMGSL had on Friday last got approval from Justice (retd) D K Jain, appointed by NCLAT to oversee ILFS resolution process, to transfer the Gurgaon Metro Link to HUDA on September 9.
Depending on courts verdict, commuters would be interested to know how HUDA ensures the ride continues uninterrupted. IL&FS officials declined to comment saying matter is sub-judice. "Larger question to be decided is who will run the Metro. Once that is resolved, continuity will be ensured,” said the sources.
The Rapid Metro is a fully-elevated rapid transit system with stations at Cyber City, DLF Phase 2, DLF Phase 3, NH-8 and Golf Course Road up to Sector 55-56, among others and provides connectivity to the Delhi Metro from Sikanderpur Station.
The rapid metro project was built by IL&FS, which is now facing bankruptcy proceedings in the NCLAT, and had commenced operations on its first phase in November 2013 and second phase in March 2017.