Metro Rail, one of the flagship projects of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, is just a step away from its maiden commercial run after receiving a technical clearance from the Railways Ministry
The ministry approved a speed limit of up to 80 kilometres per hour (kmph) for the metro. Earlier, the Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO) had oscillation trials to check if the Lucknow
Metro could run safely after clocking a speed of 80 kmph.
Yadav had in November last year inaugurated the trial run of the metro that was supposed to begin commercial operations on March 26, 2017. He even showed confidence in flagging off the project on the proposed date.
However, the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) lost the 2017 UP polls to the resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Yogi took over as the new CM on March 19, a week before the purported date of beginning commercial operations of the metro. The project has since then assumed a backseat due to delays in getting the approval of necessary central agencies.
Metro, the Agra-Lucknow
expressway and the Lucknow
IT city were among the top projects espoused and marketed by Yadav, riding on the development plank, during the state elections in the Uttar Pradesh.
In its first phase, Lucknow
Metro would operate in an 8.5-km stretch between Lucknow
airport and Charbagh railway station. This would be part of the 23-km long North-South corridor, having 21 stations. The total network would cost around Rs 6,800 crore.
The project will need to be approved by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) in order to rollout services, likely to be live within a month.
Loans from European Investment Bank
European Investment Bank
(EIB) had signed an agreement with the central government to advance 250 million euros (about Rs 1,752 crore) to Lucknow
Metro, as part of the second tranche of loan amount. This followed the visit of EIB vice president Andrew Denis McDowell to Lucknow
to review the progress of work before advancing the credit line.
In March 2016, a loan agreement for 450 million euros (about Rs 3,502 crore) was signed between the Centre and EIB in Brussels during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Belgium.
Funds were supposed to be released by EIB in two tranches of 200 million euros and 250 million euros respectively. The loan’s first tranche had already been received by the Lucknow
Metro Rail Corporation.