Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said infrastructure projects are being executed at a never before seen speed and scale.
Highlighting his government’s achievements, Mr. Modi said of the 675 km of Metro lines in operation in the country, 400 km had been built in the last five years. He said work is under way on nearly 850 km of Metro lines. Mr. Modi said, “In the next five years, we will be spending ₹100 lakh crore on infrastructure projects, which will benefit Mumbai and other cities as well.”
“Need 21st century cities”
The Prime Minister underlined the need to create “21st century cities” as the country heads to become a $5-trillion economy. He said the country’s infrastructure growth had to be built holistically and for that projects such as ‘One Nation One Power Grid’ and ‘One Nation One Mobility Card’ are being planned and implemented. He said, “In 2014, Metros were present in a few large cities. Today, Metros are either operational or being built in 27 cities. Who could have imagined that long-pending projects like Navi Mumbai international airport and Mumbai Trans Harbour Link would see the light of day?”
On Saturday, Mr. Modi laid the foundation stone for three more Metro lines in the city and the 32-storey Metro Bhavan, which is proposed to come up in Aarey Milk Colony and will serve as the command centre for all Metro corridors in the city. The three new Metro projects worth worth over ₹19,000 crore are the ₹4,476-crore 9.2-km Gaimukh-Shivaji Chowk (Mira Road) Metro 10; the ₹8,739-crore 12.8-km Wadala-CSMT Metro 11; and the ₹5,865-crore 20.7-km Kalyan-Taloja Metro 12 corridor. The these new lines are expected to be completed by 2026, when the city will have 337-km-long Metro network across 14 lines and covering the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The three Metro lines had received the approval of the State Cabinet last month.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the three Metro lines would cater to over 41 lakh passengers daily. He said, “We are developing the largest Metro network in the country. It is our aim to ensure that the maximum travel time to commute from one end of the MMR to the other is 60 minutes. We will be the first city in the country to have an integrated transport system, where people can travel on all forms of transport on one ticket.”
Mr. Fadnavis said the target was to make 120 km of Metro lines operational by 2020-21, add 85 km to the network by 2023-24, and complete the proposed 337-km-long network across 14 lines by 2025-2026. He said, “After the entire network is complete, one crore people will travel by Metros in the city.” Mr. Fadnavis said the Metro Bhavan would be the largest command and control centre for Metros in the country. There will also be a training centre in the Metro Bhavan where experts from Milan and Singapore will train the Metro staff members. He said, “Using artificial intelligence, all the lines will be integrated in a way the failure rate will be non-existent. Nearly 50,000 people will get direct employed.”
Mr. Fadnavis also sought the Centre’s approval for the first hybrid Metro project, which the State has planned to set up in Nashik. He said, “As the Prime Minister has approved several projects in the State, I would request him to approve this one as well. If we do the hybrid projects, I am confident, we will be able to take the Metro to even smaller areas.”
Mr. Modi also inaugurated the mock Metro coach built by Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), which has bagged the order to provide rolling stock for Metro 2A (Dahisar to DN Nagar), Metro 2B (DN Nagar to Mankhurd) and Metro 7 (Dahisar East to Andheri East). He also opened the Bandongri station on Metro 7. Mr. Modi said, “In line with our Make In India policy, these coaches will be built in the country. We are confident that we will create Metro coaches of international standard.”
Mr. Fadnavis said, “I am happy to say we have taken his programme of promoting local manufacturing ahead and created the first indigenous Metro coach built by the Bharat Earth Movers.”
(With PTI inputs)