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Akhilesh wants to ride Lucknow Metro before 2017 polls

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav addresses a press conference after inauguration of the Uttar Pradesh Pavilion at the 35th India International Trade Fair (IITF-2015) at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Photo: PTI

Officials at the Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) are working against time to meet the December 2016 deadline. Given the hectic schedule of LMRC managing director Kumar Keshav, it is an uphill task to fix an appointment with him. “The project keeps him very busy, so much so that sometimes even the office staff does not get to meet him,” said a senior LMRC official requesting anonymity.

‘Metro man’ E Sreedharan is the principal advisor to the project.

Currently, an 8.5-km stretch from Lucknow airport to Charbagh railway stations under Phase I-A of the north-south corridor is being built, of which 47 per cent has been completed. This stretch alone would cost nearly Rs 2,000 crore, LMRC senior public relations officer Amit Kumar Srivastava told Business Standard.

“A smart project management software is helping us in tracking the progress of the project, schedules, tender processes, etc,” said Srivastava. The work on the ground had started last year.

Lucknow metro rail is one of the three pet projects of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. He wants the project to be completed or operational to some extent ahead of the 2017 polls to the state Assembly.

The other two projects are Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Lucknow IT City, estimated to cost nearly Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 1,500 crore, respectively. All the three projects are underway and projected to be completed before the polls bugle is sounded.

The preliminary detailed project report (DPR) had proposed two corridors of Lucknow Metro Rail project - north-south and east-west corridors - measuring 23 km and 11 km and costing Rs 6,880 crore and Rs 5,494 crore, respectively.

While the north-south corridor comprises 19 elevated and three underground stations, the east-west corridor comprises five elevated and seven underground stations.

While the project is slated to be completed by December 2016, it would be March 2017 that the metro could start ferrying commuters because there will be a three-month trial run.

The project had been stuck for many years. During the previous Mayawati regime, the project could not move beyond the route alignment stage over indecision over the funding model to be adopted. On June 27, 2013, the state government gave its formal nod to the project.

Lucknow City has a population of three million. There has been tremendous horizontal growth in the state capital with rapid development of suburban areas. A modern urban rapid rail transit system is imperative for a growing city like Lucknow to facilitate faster commuting and de-congesting the ever increasing road traffic.

Like Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the project is being implemented on 50:50 equity model being shared equally by the central and state governments. Around 50 per cent of the project (Rs 3,502 crore) is to be funded through debt from multilateral/bilateral agencies.

LMRC was incorporated in November 2013 under Companies Act, 1956. It has authorised capital of Rs 2,000 crore.

The state government is keen to launching metro rail projects in other cities as well such as Kanpur, Varanasi, Agra and Meerut.

Earlier his month, chief secretary Alok Ranjan had directed officials to take necessary action to start work on the Kanpur Metro Rail from January 2016. The project is estimated at Rs 13,400 crore. The DPR for Kanpur Metro has been prepared by RITES in consultation with Kanpur Development Authority and LMRC.

Kanpur metro rail project is proposed for 33-km spanning two corridors. The first corridor of 24 km would connect Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur with other important areas including the busy Kanpur Central railway station and a bus terminal. The second corridor of Kanpur Metro Rail would run for 9 km.

Kanpur metro rail project would be developed to cater the city public transport system for the next 50 years.

First Published: Sat, November 28 2015. 00:18 IST
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