Centre nod to Lucknow Metro expected in a month

लखनऊ Lucknow (LKO): Principal advisor of Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC), E Sreedharan hopes to get formal nod from Centre to the Lucknow Metro rail project within a month. Formal approval of GOI would imply that Centre has become party to the project and would begin disbursing funds from time to time along with the state government.

LMRC would be assessing the amount of funds required in the next financial year in the next three weeks and would be sending it to both Centre and state government for allocating sufficient funds in their 2015 budget (before March 31). “We are trying our level best to get Rs 100 crore disbursed from the Centre which was announced in FY 2014 budget,” said Sreedharan.

It is believed that as soon as Centre gives a formal nod, Lucknow Metro would receive Rs 100 crore allocated in this year’s Union budget. A major task is to get approval from Public Investment Board (PIB) before that, for which LMRC has already drafted replies to queries raised by the board. “We would be sending replies to PIB in a week,” said Sreedharan.

Speaking about progress of the project, Sreedharan said events have unfolded successfully so far and LMRC has already fast-tracked civil activities on Kanpur Road to complete priority section from Transport Nagar to Charbagh railway station (about 8 km) by December 2016. He said though the project would be completed by 2016-end, people of Lucknow would get to commute on metro trains only in 2017 as LMRC would have to initially run the trains on trial basis.

Apart from work given to L&T, tenders of remaining portions of North-South (N-S) corridor (about 23 km) comprising special span above Mawaiya Underpass (about 103 km), underground section around Hazratganj (3.4 km), viaduct area, depot, stretch above Gomti would also be finalised in three and a half months. “We would prepare a thorough plan of action for entire N-S corridor including route for utility transfers in next 3-4 months”, Sreedharan said.

Meanwhile, interim consultant of the project, DMRC is evaluating tenders received for detailed design consultant (DDC) of metro’s depot on PAC campus, Kanpur Road. LMRC managing director Kumar Keshav said “technical bids have been evaluated and only financial bids remain to be opened.” Sreedharan has instructed LMRC to retender the project of Mawaiya’s special span as in initial tender, no company turned up.

What next:

Sreedharan met chief secretary on Tuesday, asked him to follow up with Ministry of Urban Development to grant formal approval soon

Director of Finance, LMRC has been chosen but the name would be disclosed only after LMRC Board gives approval on Wednesday

LMRC has asked L&T to deploy sufficient number of traffic wardens to caution people about traffic alternations, construction sites, dangerous situations even during nights

French company Systra has been given the task to design viaduct and metro stations

LMRC would be finalising bid documents for remaining portions on priority section over next 6 weeks

LMRC will be recruiting full-fledged team of engineers and officials in next 2 months to supervise project at each level

LMRC is sending letters to CPWD, Railways etc to recommend names of engineers for LMRC

International financial institution for extending loan to the project will be decided in 2-3 months’ time

Three foreign agencies being considered for loan are French Agency for Development- AFD, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and European Investment Bank