Ludhiana Metro

If one goes by the draft detailed project report (DPR) submitted to the Punjab Government by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), Ludhiana will get its first light metro rail soon. It would be the first metro project in Punjab. To be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 10,516 crore with two corridors, it will chug by 2014. Meanwhile, Reliance Industries has given a proposal to the state government to start a similar metro at Amritsar too.The draft DPR to Punjab Industrial Development Board states that the existing urban transport system of Ludhiana city, which is roadbased, has already come under stress leading to longer travel time, increased air pollution and rise in the number of road accidents.With projected increase in the population of the city and augmenting of transport infrastructure assuming urgency, the provision of railbased metro system in the city has been considered. Studies have brought out that a light metro with a carrying capacity of about 25,000 Peak Hour Peak Direction Trips (PHPDTs) will be adequate to meet not only the traffic needs for the present but for the coming 20 to 25 years. Tht two proposed corrdors are Ayali Chowk to BBMB Power House Corridor (15.79 Km) and Gill Village to Rahon Road Chungi Corridor (13.03 Km). After examining the various options for the execution of the Ludhiana metro project, it has been recommended that the project will executed through a concessionaire on built-operate transfer basis. The concessionaire's contribution will comprise his own investment of Rs 1,563 crore together with a loan of Rs 3,127 crore to be raised by him from the market. The concessionaire will get a 16 per cent return (post tax) on his investment, For this purpose the upfront grant will be Rs 5,826 crore. While the Punjab government contribution will be Rs 3,723 crore, of this it will pay Rs 530 crore to the BoT operator as upfront amount and provide land so the concessionaire can raise Rs 2,800 crore for the project.While the Centre's contribution will be Rs 2,103 crore which is 20 per cent of the project. The DPR states that the state government should exempt Punjab from Value Added Tax (VAT) on the metro, also no tax should be charged on the electricity required for the operations and no municipal taxes. Sources said that to avoid delays in processing the clearance of the project, the DPR states that the state government should approve it in principle and forward the report to Secretary, Union Ministry of Urban Development, for clearance advising the ministry to give in-principle approval. Also a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) should be set up for the Ludhiana Metro to be registered under the companies Act. It should be a public sector undertaking (PSU) of the state government and be named "Ludhiana Metro Rail Corporation''.
An officer should be appointed on a special duty with adequate powers to process and peruse the sanction of the project. Also for first year an interim consultant should be engaged who should work for the SPV.The report states that state government should freeze all future developments along the proposed route of the Ludhiana metro to avoid wasteful expenditure.A senior official said, "The Ludhiana Metro will be based on the Hyderabad Metro Project with negative bidding a crucial part of the project. The state government will give prime land to the developer for real estate and thus the land value will be more and the developer will pay back to the government."

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