India to extend metro services to 15 more cities

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  • Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced that metro networks are going to be expanded to 15 other cities across the country.
  • India already has an operational metro network of over 515 kms and will expand to 660 kms more for rapid urban transformation.
  • The state governments and union territories have been asked to submit a Detailed Project Report (DPR).
Spread over 10 cities across the country, India's metro network is now set to expand its operations to at least 15 more cities. The Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, made the announcement on Monday and also listed the new cities out.

Currently, the metro rail line has an operational network of over 500 kms and will expand to 660 kms more for rapid urban transformation. As of now, metro is functional in 10 cities including Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bengaluru and Kolkata being the first to kick off metro services in India in 1984. Fifteen more cities are also under consideration for metro coverage.

Puri said that nearly 664 kms of metro rail network is under various stages of implementation while more than 515 kms is already operational in India. Nagpur, Pune and Ahmedabad are likely to get the network by next year. The new cities that are on the list include Varanasi, Indore, Coimbatore, Kanpur, Bhopal, Patna, Surat, Guwahati, Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram and Navi Mumbai.

In an interaction with the members of Consultative Committee, Puri spoke about the new urban transformation in India and pointed out that the government provides financial support to metro rail projects in 3 forms. It can either give a grant to states of up to 10% of project costs, in the form of a 50:50 equity sharing with state governments or a viability gap funding to the extent of 20% of the capital cost of public transport projects under a PPP model.

The state government and union territories, on the new list of 15 cities, have been asked to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) in accordance to the provisions in the Metro Rail Policy 2017 and submit it to the central government. The policy aims to ensure convenience to the people dependent on public transport.

At the interaction, Puri also mentioned that the provision of last mile connectivity for the Delhi Metro is at an advanced stage.

The minister also said that the projects proposed under Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) comprising 373 kms between Delhi-Meerut, Delhi-Panipat and Delhi-Alwar are under planning and that the ministry has released funds for various metro projects amounting to ₹748.1 billion in 2018-19 (up to 30 September 2018).
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