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9 cities to get extra 313 km of Metro lines by March 2019

By Deepika
|

In a major push to transport in big cities, nine cities including Delhi, Noida, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Kochi, Bengaluru, and Chennai are set to get an additional 313 km of Metro Rail connectivity by March 2019. At present, the mass transit system is only operational along 370 km in eight cities.

Image for representation only

The Union government is has also decide to double the metro rail network over the next 18 months, adding four new cities to the metro map. The biggest gainers would be cities in BJP-ruled states. Gujarat would get its first 6.3 km stretch in the capital city Ahmedabad next month. These two stretches would be followed by 28.4 km stretch in Delhi and 28 km in Hyderabad in September.

By March 2019, 19 new sections in nine cities would be commissioned, adding 313 kms to the 370-km metro network. This translates to 313 kms made operational in 19 months as compared to 370 kms made operational over 33 years in eight cities since the first metro service began in Kolkata in 1984.

An official of housing urban affairs ministry said, "To speed up Metro expansion in view of growing traffic and pollution, the central government has increased budgetary provision for Metro projects to Rs 42,696 crore during 2015-18, marking an increase of 258% over that of Rs 16,565 crore during 2012-15 period," reports ToI.

The focus has been on ensuring close coordination and monitoring with states and agencies concerned for quick implementation of projects. Four new cities - Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Nagpur - will in the process come on the Metro map of the country taking the number of cities with metro services to 12.

While Tier-II cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Ahmedabad and Nagpur are setting up their dedicated metro networks, the proposals for cities such as Chandigarh, Bhopal, Ludhiana and Kozikode are being evaluated.

The Metro Rail projects that are implemented with a 50:50 equity joint venture model with the concerned states, the most commonly followed model, the Centre provides assistance of up to 20 percent of project costs except for land costs in the form of equity coming to about 14 percent of such costs and subordinate debt for around 6 percent.

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