New Delhi, Apr 17 : Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy today said the Government would begin work on several proposed metro rail projects in many cities and expedite the process within two years.
Replying to questions in the Rajya Sabha, Reddy said the Government was in favour of the metro rail system to strengthen public transport facilities and to reduce the traffic problem.
He said: "The Government's effort is to expedite the process, and in two years timeframe, we will be able to lay the foundation stones and start working."
He further said, "Whereever the state government has come forward, we are lending substantial assistance to metro and Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS)."
Metro Rail projects for Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Kochi are in different stages of approval.
BRTS projects have been approved for Ahmebadad, Rajkot, Surat, Indore, Bhopal, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Vijayawada, Bhopal and Jaipur under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
The Centre has urged the state governments to construct separate tracks for cycles and pedestrians while implementing BRTS, he said.
As the number of vehicles in metro cities, particularly cars and two wheelers, has shown a substantial increase in recent years, the government has formulated the National Urban Transport Policy which seeks to promote integrated land use and transport planning, greater use of public transport and non-motorised modes of travel, Reddy said in response to a separate question.