Nod for 5 metro plans

Metro construction will pick up pace in the country with the Union finance ministry recently giving “in-principle” approval to five proposed metro projects in Indore, Bhopal, Kanpur, Agra, and Delhi, with an estimated cost of ₹1.07 lakh crore.

Besides the five metro projects, the ₹32,000 crore Delhi-Meerut corridor of the proposed Rapid Rail Transit System also got the in-principle nod from the finance ministry.

The “in-principle” approval is just the first step in a series of approvals that will follow before the projects finally take off the ground.

In Delhi, three corridors of phase four of the metro, running into 61.66 km with an estimated cost of ₹29,000 crore, have been approved.

The total length of the two corridors of the Kanpur metro rail project is 32.38 km and the completion cost, excluding the land cost and state taxes, is ₹16,192 crore. The length of the Agra stretch of the metro, which will also have two corridors, is 30 km and the completion cost is ₹12,253 crore.

Two of the other metro projects that got the “in-principle” nod are in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh. The proposed length of the Indore project is 104.25 km and the estimated cost is ₹26,762 crore while the length of the Bhopal metro is 95.03 km and the estimated cost is ₹22,504.25.

The projects approved by the finance ministry are the first to be approved after the government came out with the new metro policy last August. The policy made PPP (public private partnership) component mandatory for availing central assistance for all new metro projects.

G Raghuram, transport economist at IIM Bangalore, said that with the aspiration for vehicle ownership growing, mass rapid transport systems are a desirable option in our cities that have reasonable population density.

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