NEW DELHI: Commuters in cities that have population of more than 20 lakhs can look forward to more comfortable and safer rides, if state governments are willing to opt for modern Metro network for intra-city travel.
The Union urban development ministry has decided to consider the proposal for Metro in Tier II cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Patna, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Indore, Nagpur, Kochi, Coimbatore, Kozhikode. The Metro fever is catching up in smaller cities, thanks largely to the success of Delhi Metro. Cities like Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Bhopal are making a case for Metro, even though they don’t qualify because of the population cut-off.
Jaipur is likely to be the first Tier-II city to get the swanky mode of transportation as the state government has agreed to bear Rs 1,250 crore for the 9.25-km stretch under Stage I. However, the Rajasthan government has sought Centre’s approval for viability gap funding for stage II – a 25.91-km stretch between Ambabari to Sitapura via SMS hospital – that is estimated to cost Rs 7,700 crore.
Kochi has also jumped on the bandwagon. The UD ministry will soon seek the Cabinet’s nod for the project: a 25.3-km stretch, extending between Alwaye to Petta, to be built at a cost of Rs 4,722 crore.
Ludhiana, Pune, Lucknow and Ahmedabad have got detailed project report (DPR) for metro projects prepared from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), while DPRs for Indore, Bhopal and Chandigarh is being prepared.
The ministry seems keen to run Metro in Nagpur as UD minister Kamal Nath has written to Maharastra chief minister Ashok Chavan, asking him to get a DPR for the Orange City prepared.
Though Kanpur, Patna, Surat, Coimbatore and Kozhikode make the grade for Tier-II cities, they are lagging behind in availing of the Centre’s offer. “If state governments come with the proposal for Metro Rail in cities with 20 lakh plus population, the ministry is ready to consider,” Nath said.
The ministry has decided to bear 50% of the cost of the preparation of DPR for cities that come under the population cut-off bracket. Among the 19 cities, which have more than 20 lakh population as per Census 2011, Metro projects are under different stages of implementation in four -Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Metro is running in the National Capital since 2006 on different routes, while Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is implementing Phase III of the project.
Mumbai has taken up metro projects-Line 1 (11.07 km), Line 2 (31.87 km) – on PPP model at an estimated cost of Rs 10,016 crore. For Line-3 (20.4 km Colaba-Mahim/Bandra corridor), which will cost about Rs 12,015 crore, it has opted for the DMRC model, to be funded by both the Centre and the state.
Kolkata Metro, which is the first one in the country, has taken up a new 14.67-km east-west corridor that will be implemented by railways. Chennai is implementing a 45.05-km project on the DMRC model.
Bangalore has become first city in south to have Metro after a 7-km stretch was commissioned in October. The city has already got the DPR ready for Phase II – a 72-km stretch that will cost about Rs 25,000 crore. Metro rail project in Hyderabad, covering 71 km, is being implemented on PPP mode.