With Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections due in early 2017, the state government has speeded up the process of launching Metro Rail projects in four cities — Kanpur, Varanasi, Agra and Meerut.
While Lucknow Metro Rail project is already on track, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is keen to unveil the other projects also, so that it could showcase the infrastructure development agenda of his government in run up to the state polls.
On December 30, 2014, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet had approved the proposed Metro Rail projects in Kanpur, Varanasi, Agra and Meerut, to boost urban mass transport infrastructure in these important cities.
The state government has nominated RITES Limited and Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) for preparing the respective detailed project report (DPR) and as coordinator, respectively. The development authorities would be nodal agencies for DPR.
RITES is a central government enterprise, which undertakes feasibility studies, integrated design services, institutional management and technical support for railway projects.
LMRC Managing Director Kumar Keshav has already visited the four towns and held preliminary discussions with the officials of RITES and respective development authorities.
According to Uttar Pradesh Externally Aided Projects Department Advisor Madhukar Jetley, Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) had already approved the proposal mooted by RITES to prepare DPR of the 35-km Metro Rail track in the first phase.
Similarly, Keshav had visited Agra, Meerut and Varanasi on February 12, 20 and 27, respectively, to hold consultations with officials.
RITES has submitted proposals to the respective development authorities for the DPR and a decision thereon is awaited.
Jetley recently reviewed the progress on the proposed Metro Rail projects. He underlined the imperative of timely preparation of DPR, which would be approved by the state Cabinet and forwarded to the Centre with its recommendations.
‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan is the principal advisor to the Lucknow Metro project. Lucknow Metro is proposed in two north-south (NS) and east-west corridors. The proposed 23-km NS corridor, which would connect Lucknow airport to the city, is being undertaken in the first phase and is estimated to cost about Rs 7,000 crore.