Lucknow, Dec 30: The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday okayed the detailed project reports (DPRs) for metro rail projects in four major cities.
The cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, approved DPRs for Kanpur, Meerut, Agra and Varanasi.
While Agra attracts a lot of foreign tourists because of the Taj Mahal, Varanasi is the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Meerut is an important business centre in western Uttar Pradesh and Kanpur is the commercial capital of Uttar Pradesh with a large number of business houses and industries.
Sources say the Samajwadi Party (SP) government was keen to ensure that work on the ambitious projects is kickstarted by 2015 to convince the electorate that development work is going on when the state goes for state assembly polls early 2017.
Work on the first phase of the Lucknow Metro Rail is already underway and the state government has assured that work on this route would be completed by December 2016.
In the Lok Sabha election earlier this year, the SP got a major drubbing when it won just five seats out of the 80 in the state. Since then the Akhilesh Yadav government has undertaken a slew of projects to develop infrastructure in the state and has shied away from populism.