The upcoming Lucknow Metro Rail project is the fastest and most economical such project in India.
Touted to be ready for trial runs before December 2016 and commercial operations by March 2017, Lucknow Metro project competes with the upcoming Kochi Metro Rail project to be the fastest completing project.
"The Lucknow and Kochi Metro Rail projects are amongst the fastest with both projected to be completed in three years' time," Metro Man and principal advisor to Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) E Sreedharan told the media here this evening.
The Kochi Metro is projected to start commercial operations by June 2016.
However, Lucknow Metro Rail project is cheapest amongst the two projects.
"The per km cost of Lucknow Metro project is less than the Kochi Metro primarily due to the cheaper land cost in Lucknow compared to Kochi," he told Business Standard on the sidelines.
The under-construction Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Lucknow IT City and Lucknow Metro Rail are flagship projects of the incumbent Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh.
Sreedharan visits Lucknow periodically to review the progress of the Lucknow Metro project. He said the project has been meeting timelines.
However, he expressed concern over the slow pace of civil works for the metro stations and underground sections. The slow pace has been attributed due to the shortage of labour following the onset of the festival season.
Currently, 8.5 km stretch from Lucknow airport to Charbagh railway station under Phase I-A of the North-South corridor is being built and is estimated to be completed before December 2016. This stretch would cost nearly Rs 2,000 crore.
The preliminary Detailed Project Report (DPR) had proposed two corridors of Lucknow Metro Rail project viz. North-South and East-West corridors measuring 23 km and 11 km and costing about Rs 6,880 crore and Rs 5,494 crore.
While, North-South corridor comprises 19 elevated and 3 underground stations, the East-West corridor comprises 5 elevated and 7 underground stations.
Lucknow Metro project had been hanging fire for the last several years. During the previous Mayawati regime, the project could not move beyond the route alignment stage over funding model to be adopted. On June 27, 2013, the state government had given its formal nod to the project.
Lucknow City has a population of over 3 million. There has been tremendous horizontal growth in the state capital with rapid development of suburban areas. In such a scenario, a modern urban rapid rail transit system is imperative for a growing city like Lucknow to facilitate faster commuting and decongesting ever increasing road traffic.
UP is keen to launching metro projects in other cities as well, including Kanpur, Varanasi, Agra and Meerut. The DPR for the proposed Kanpur Metro Rail has been prepared. Kanpur Metro is proposed for 33 km spanning two corridors.