Final shape is being given to a proposed new legislation that will replace the existing two laws related to construction, operation and maintenance of metro networks across the country, a top official today said.
Urban Affairs Secretary D S Mishra said the new law has been warranted because the paradigm in the field has changed.
"The two existing laws related to operation and maintenance, and construction, have become very old, and they were formulated when the scenario was completely different. Now the situation has changed. And, the new law would seek to address all the issues faced by metro networks," he said.
Mishra said, the issue of land acquisition and public-private-partnership model has evolved, and the legislation that will replace the existing laws will "create an ecosystem that will further the growth story of the metros".
He was interacting with reporters on the sidelines of the launch of 'I-Metros' or Indian Metros Rail Organisations Society, an association of all Indian metro rail companies, at a conference on 'Indian Metros: Collaborating for Excellence' held at Metro Bhawan here.
"We have been working on it for the last two years. And. the legislative department (of the Law Ministry) is giving final shape, after which it will go to Cabinet as per the due procedure," he said.
The Metro Railway (Operations and Maintenance) Act, 2002, is an Act of the Parliament that governs the operations of metro rail systems in India.
Mishra also said that currently the span of all metro networks operational in the country stands at 425 km. And, another 700 kms are under construction in 13 cities, he said.
"By the end of this year, 600 km will become operational," he added.
Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, in his address said this new platform (I-Metros) "will go a long way, if things progress in the right spirt by adopting the best practices and the latest technologies".
Mishra said, this new platform will allow them to share experiences, challenges, and learn from each other for the better.
"The MDs, directors, would be connected. And, new technologies, new innovations can be shared. Also, we will bring in our Institute of Urban Transport, so that it can be shared in electronic mode," the Urban Affairs secretary said.
Sinha said revenues from passengers segment will always be a challenge, so metros should "look at other innovative ways whereby they can raise revenues and make it self-sustaining ventures".
Sinha also released 'The Operators Story', a publication by the World Bank and Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC), Imperial College, London, on the findings of the research on what makes metros successful.
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