In a boost to urban transport, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced a new scheme for public buses and expansion of and new Metro networks in Kochi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Nagpur and Nashik, in her Budget speech.
“We will work towards raising the share of public transport in urban areas through expansion of Metro rail network and augmentation of city bus service. A new scheme will be launched at a cost of ₹18,000 crore to support augmentation of public bus transport services. The scheme will facilitate deployment of innovative PPP models to enable private sector players to finance, acquire, operate and maintain over 20,000 buses,” she said.
A total of 702 km of conventional Metro lines were in operation and 1,016 km of Metro and Regional Rapid Transit System lines were under construction in 27 cities. Two new Metro technologies, MetroLite and MetroNeo, would be used in tier-2 cities and peripheral parts of tier-1 cities to provide connectivity at a lower cost compared to conventional Metro systems.
The Centre would provide counterpart funding for the Kochi Metro Phase-II at a cost of ₹1,957.05 crore, the Chennai Metro Phase-II at a cost of ₹63,246 crore, the Bengaluru Metro Phase 2A and 2B at a cost of ₹14,788 crore, the Nagpur Metro Phase-II at a cost of ₹5,975 crore and the Nashik Metro at a cost of ₹2,092 crore.