Cabinet Nod for Nagpur Metro likely today

नागपुर Nagpur (NGP):  The Union cabinet is likely to clear the Nagpur Metro project on Wednesday, just a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the city to perform the bhoomi puja for the 38.20km corridors.

Sources said that after the public investment board (PIB) approved the proposal, a formal approval from the finance ministry came on Tuesday. The revised cost of Metro rail project is Rs 10,526 crore. The project is being expedited about 45 days before Maharashtra goes to polls with the BJP looking at maximizing the opportunity

The Metro project will be implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and would be funded jointly by ministry of urban development (20%), Maharashtra government (20%), Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC, 5%) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT, 5%). The remaining 50% is expected to come by raising loans.

The cost of the Metro project has gone up due to delays. The state had taken an in-principle decision to construct the Metro rail in October 2011. Then its cost was expected to be Rs 6,860 crore. It was then revised to Rs 9,007 crore in 2012. It was reduced to Rs 8,680 crore in 2013 following a revision in the plan. The final revision, which has pegged the estimate at Rs 10,526 crore, was done following directives by the centre to estimate the cost according to prevailing prices.

According to project details, there would be two corridors – Automotive Square to Mihan (19.65Km) and Prajapati Nagar to Lokmanya Nagar (18.55km). The corridor interchange would be near Munje Square, Sitabuldi. Totally 34 stations will be constructed.

On his visit to Nagpur, Modi is also set to open the second phase of the National Thermal Power Corporation power plant at Mouda. The Metro function will be held at Kasturchand Park. This will be Modi’s second visit to Maharashtra after he became PM. On Saturday, he launched INS Kolkata in Mumbai.

Just before the Lok Sabha election, Kamal Nath had given in-principle approval to Nagpur Metro project even as ministry officials had not studied the detailed project report (DPR) of Nagpur metro. The Congress-NCP government in the state had tried hard have the bhoomi puja before Lok Sabha elections. However, the project did not have clearances from several ministries.

“The government’s intention is clear that the PM won’t inaugurate a project which has not been cleared by the government to give any room for his opponents. There is little doubt that the Cabinet won’t clear this proposal before the grand ceremony is held,” said a government official.

On the same occasion, Modi is also likely to announce two flyovers in Nagpur.

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