Finance ministry approves Rs. 1.07 lakh crore for metro-rail projectsLast updated on Jun 28, 2018, 11:07 am
The Finance Ministry has given 'in-principle' approval to metro rail projects in Kanpur, Bhopal, Indore, Agra and the phase IV of Delhi Metro, amounting to Rs. 1.07 lakh crore, multiple reports said.
Along with this, the ministry also approved Rs. 32,000 crore for rapid rail transit system between Delhi and Meerut, that will reduce the travel time to 60 minutes.
Here's more on this.
As part of project, tier-II cities to get metro
After the finance ministry's approval, tier-II cities of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh will get metro facilities.
In Kanpur, the metro stretch would be 32.38km costing Rs. 16,192 crore. The 30km long Agra stretch will cost Rs. 12,253 crore.
The proposed length of metro in Indore is 104.25km, costing Rs. 26,762 crore, whereas in Bhopal the estimated cost is Rs. 22,504.25 crore for 95.03km long metro-stretch.
First approval is secured, but it's still a long road
With the in-principle nod in place, the projects will now go to Public Investment Board (PIB) of the Finance Ministry for approval and to Union Cabinet later.
This is the first project to be approved after the government changed the policy last August, making PPP (public private partnership) component mandatory.
The PPP model was followed in metros of Hyderabad and Mumbai.
But, will the PPP model work? Understanding the concerns
G Raghuram, transport economist at IIM, said roping in private companies at construction stage is risky. He advised the government should do construction and private players can be tasked with operations and maintenance.
Citing examples of Hyderabad and Mumbai, he said things got delayed due to public agitation. Getting permissions wasn't easy either.
These risks are too much for private companies, he explained.
Meanwhile, work on Delhi's phase-IV to begin without AAP's approval
Notably, an official from The Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry said work on phase IV of Delhi Metro, that covers 61.66km and costs Rs. 29,000 crore, will begin even without Aam Aadmi Party's approval.
DS Mishra said AAP has been delaying the project for the last three years and some decisions need to be taken for better transportation in the city.