To further expand the metro rail networks in the major cities of Uttar Pradesh, the state government has now cleared the Light Metro project for chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s home turf of Gorakhpur.
Also known as light rapid transit, Light Metro is a rail transport system with a capacity greater than light rail, but lower than the typical heavy-rail rapid transit system.
The Gorakhpur Light Metro project, which is estimated to be completed by 2024, would span almost 28 km with two elevated corridors. While one elevated corridor would span 15.14 km comprising 14 stations, the other corridor would run 12.70 km and consist of 13 stations.
The Adityanath cabinet meeting here on Friday, which cleared the Gorakhpur Light Metro project, also gave its nod to the detailed project report (DPR) of the prestigious project.
In the 2020-21 UP Annual Budget, the state government had made a provision of Rs 900 for the under-construction Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System. Besides, Rs 286 crore and Rs 358 crore were allocated for the Agra and Kanpur metro projects respectively. Currently, metro rail services are being run in Lucknow, Ghaziabad and Noida cities.
The work on the Kanpur Metro project is progressing at a fast pace. Even during the post lockdown period, ‘strategic execution’ helped the UP Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) in maintaining the workforce for the construction of the 9 km priority corridor of Kanpur Metro, which has become the first metro project in India where pre-casted double T-girders are being used for constructing the concourse level of the stations.
On August 31, the European Investment Bank (EIB) had signed a loan contract for Kanpur Metro for Euro 650 million (Rs 5,552 crore) through a virtual signing ceremony. The EIB is expected to evaluate the Agra Metro soon for a similar credit facility.
The agreement was signed in the virtual presence of Ambassador of the European Union to India and Bhutan Ugo Astuto; EIB vice president Andrew McDowell; C S Mohapatra, additional secretary, department of economic affairs, union finance ministry; and UP Metro Rail Corporation Limited (UPMRC) managing director Kumar Keshav.
Meanwhile, the Adityanath government has expedited land acquisition for the Kanpur and Agra metro projects, which are collectively estimated to cost Rs 19,000 crore. In July 2020, the Supreme Court (SC) had cleared the Rs 8,380 crore Agra project, thus paving way for the mass rapid transit system (MRTS) in the Taj City.
In Agra, the 21 hectares of land, notified as protected forest, would be released for the metro project, while another land would be notified as protected forest in the district to compensate for the green cover. Besides, 8 hectares of land under the possession of the 15th company of provincial armed constabulary (PAC) would be provided for the metro project.