Other States

In-principle nod for Metro in Agra, Kanpur, Meerut, Bhopal and Indore

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Delhi Metro Phase IV also approved; Metro rail systems to be standardised

The Finance Ministry has given in-principle approval for new Metro projects in Agra, Kanpur, Meerut, Bhopal and Indore, according to a senior official from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

The Phase IV of the Delhi Metro and the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) have also received in-principle approval, the official said. The Public Investment Board will also have to give its consent before these proposals are sent to the Union Cabinet for its final approval.

Earlier this year, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, had said that the Centre would go ahead with the Delhi Metro Phase IV, even without cooperation from the State’s Aam Aadmi Party government. He had said commuters interests could not suffer because of the Delhi government’s failure to approve projects, saying the project had been pending for more than two years.

Metro DPRs

The timeline of Metro proposals for Uttar Pradesh cities is also fraught, as DPRs for Agra and Kanpur had reportedly been rejected by the Centre in 2017 in the light of the new Metro Rail policy and sent back to the State for re-evaluation.

In January 2018, however, the Uttar Pradesh government announced its decision to start metro services in Agra, Kanpur and Meerut by 2024 at a total estimated cost of ₹43,800 crore.

In February 2018, the Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation had invited tenders for the first phase of the Kanpur Metro project at an approximate proposed cost of ₹734 crore, saying the work would be financed through equity participation of the Centre and state government and other appropriate means.

Meanwhile, the government is also taking steps to standardise and indigenise metro rail systems across the country. A committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of ‘Metro Man’ E. Sreedharan to make suggestions and is expected to submit its report within three months, said official sources.

Some of the areas for which indigenous standards are needed are with regard to the layout of metro stations, platforms, signage and displays, size of tunnels, fire protection systems, disaster management systems, environment friendly and waste management systems and standards for solar panels at stations. These indigenous standards will incentivise manufacturers to plan for long-term investments in the country and thus bring down the cost of the metro rail constructions and operation, said a senior official.

The average budget outlay of the Central government is likely to increase to about ₹25,000 crore annually, apart from investments envisaged by the State governments, private partners and ULBs, estimated the official.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 3:36:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/in-principle-nod-for-metro-in-agra-kanpur-meerut-bhopal-and-indore/article24256123.ece

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