According to sources, DMRC wrote to these banks, offering to increase the loan for the purchase of the “airport express line assets”, and banks willing to extend the loan were invited to submit their offer. Sources said the loan proceeds would be used to pay off Reliance Infra Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) subsidiary.
Earlier last month, the Supreme Court upheld an order of the Delhi High Court dated March 10, 2022 ordering DMRC to pay more than Rs 4,600 crore of the arbitration award, plus interest, to DAMEPL in two instalments equal in two months.
A DMRC spokesperson did not comment on the matter when contacted by TOI. For the company, which is already reeling from a massive financial crisis since the Covid-19 outbreak, the arbitration award was a blow.
According to sources, DMRC requested that the amount be withdrawn in 12 months. The mandate will be 15 years, including a four-year moratorium. After four years, principal repayment will be quarterly and interest payment monthly.
The DMRC had requested financial assistance not only from the central government but also from the state governments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, but it did not elicit much response, sources said.
The pandemic has led to a 77% drop in DMRC’s annual revenue from Rs 3,897.3 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 895.9 crore in 2020-21. DMRC had to dip into its reserves to keep the trains running. With most of the Covid-19 restrictions now removed, attendance has increased, but it will take time for the company to return to its 2019-2020 financial position, when it had a surplus of Rs 758 crore.
DMRC and DAMEPL entered into a concession agreement in August 2008, under which all civil works of Airport Express Line were to be carried out by DMRC and various systems were to be supplied by DAMEPL. Regarding certain overpass design and quality issues, DAMEPL issued a notice in October 2012, terminating the agreement, and DMRC invoked arbitration under the agreement.