Metro Rail projects to be taken up in six cities besides Delhi

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New Delhi, Apr 29 (UNI) Encouraged by the success of Delhi Metro and in response to heavy demand from other states for Mass Rapid Transport System, the Urban Development Ministry has approved in principle Metro projects for Kochi and Chennai and extension of Delhi Metro to Noida and Gurgaon.

Giving this information to the members of the Consultative Committee attached to his ministry, Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy said the Ministry had formulated a National Urban Trasport Policy with the focus on "Moving People-Not Vehicles", had also approved in principle the viability gap funding for Hyderabad Metro.

He said Metro projects were also being taken up in Mumbai and Kolkata along with Bangalore.

The committee which took up discussions on the National Urban Transport Policy was informed by the Minister that the objective of the policy was to promote public transport.

Dr Reddy said that although urban transport was purely a State subject, yet the need for a national policy was felt as several key enactments were administered by the Centre and several key agencies were under the Central Government. The Policy aimed to set a framework for state-level policies and strategies.

Dr Reddy also informed the members that under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) projects for 9 cities had been sanctioned for a total length of 359 Kilometers at a cost of Rs 3352 crore. The Central Financial Assistance is Rs. 1602 crore.

Official sources said that members cutting across party lines expressed concern on the interminable traffic jams and high rate of deaths on highways. Discussion on the subject would continue in the next meeting of the Consultative Committee.

Besides Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken, those who attended the meeting included Mrs Krishna Tirath (Congress), Mr Sajjan Kumar (Congress), Mr Swadesh Chakraborty - CPI(M), Mr Anirudh Prasad alias Sadhu Yadav (RJD), Mr V Radhakrishnan, CPI(M), Mr Madan Lal Sharma, Congress, Mr Prasanta Chatterjee - CPI(M) and Mr Ram Narain Sahu (SP).

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