The Metro Rail project is reeling under losses. Within two years of its inception, the company was dealt with a big blow due to corona. The ridership fell drastically as a result. During the same period, the company had incurred losses of Rs 1,766 crore in 2020-21. Officials, however, sighed as passenger traffic gradually increased from 2021 onwards.
At present, 2.5-3 lakh metro trains ply daily, but the losses are still worrying. The loss for the financial year ended March 2021-22 was Rs 1,745 crore. Days before the lockdown, four lakh people used to travel on the metro. With this the company has reached a non-profit stage in terms of operations. Authorities have assumed the project would break even in seven years. Expectations were reversed due to Corona.
In 2019-20, passenger tickets worth Rs 598 crore were sold. It was estimated to be in the thousands next year. During the lockdown in 2020, metro trains had to remain at the depot for 169 days. The number of passengers did not cross 2.20 lakh at any resumption stage. As a result, the Metro provided services for only seven months of the year, generating revenue of Rs 346 crore from passengers.
In the 2020-21 financial year, metro revenue was only Rs 386 crore, and expenditure was Rs 2152 crore. Of this, the cost of interest payments was Rs 1412 crore. In 2021-22, the average number of daily commuters did not cross 3 lakh, despite running Metro trains throughout the year. This led to a slight increase in revenue. With only Rs 457 crore coming from passenger tickets, and malls, advertising revenue has increased somewhat.
Overall, L&T Metro reported a net loss of Rs 1,745 crore for the financial year. Metro officials, however, estimate that the number of daily commuters will reach 5 lakh by June. At present, an average of 2.8 lakh people are traveling daily. That number is gradually increasing. The Rs 59 ticket introduced during the holidays is very popular. The number of passengers is expected to double as IT offices close the work-from-home. The Metro Rail project was built to handle 15 lakh daily commuters. Due to various problems, including the corona, at least 30 percent of it could not be reached.