Sri City, Tada: The Centre is considering implementing metro rail projects in nine cities at a cost of ₹83,000 crore, according to Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu.
The government plans to take up new projects in Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Vishakhapatnam and Vijayawada, while work is on in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Nagpur, he said at a function to unveil the first coach shell manufactured for Kochi Metro at Alstom Transport India Ltd facility in Sri City, an integrated business city in Tada, near Chennai.
The cost to construct 1 km of metro rail is around ₹250 crore and a total of 223 km will be covered by these metro projects, he said. Currently, 259 km of metro rail is operational.
Of this, 189 km is in Delhi, 60 km in other cities, including Chennai, Bengaluru and Nagpur.
Cost of operation
Operating metro rail is not viable in many cities.
However, in places where they are operated, the benefits are good. For instance, the Delhi Metro (199 km) was developed at a cost of ₹43,000 crore.
A recent study said that the project helps the State annually save around ₹10,000 crore by way of lower fuel consumption and controlling pollution, he said.
Naidu said that 528 km of metro lines at a cost of ₹1.64 lakh crore will become operational soon, including 138 km in Delhi and 25 km in Kochi – the latter to be fully completed in two years, he said.
On rolling stock, Naidu said a lot of focus is being given indigenisation.
For instance, out of the 2,100 coaches, 1,850 coaches are indigenously manufactured.
Currently, coaches are manufactured by BEML, Bombardier and Alstom with a total capacity of 620 coaches a year, he said.
Naidu said that with nearly 100 smart cities planned across India, the flavour of the season is to provide basic facilities to urban population.
“We don’t want more vehicles but want people to use more and more public transport to avoid congestion, pollution and emission. The metro rail is one of the public transports that the government is according priority,” he said.