आगरा Agra: The Agra Development Authority (ADA) is awaiting approval from the Union ministry of urban development to go ahead with the feasibility study of the Metro rail in the city. The department has sent the terms of reference for approval for hiring a consultant for this purpose. Although the name of Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) is almost finalized for conducting the study, the ADA official said a final decision is yet to be taken.
A senior ADA official said at least one year would be required by the consultant to complete the feasibility study and prepare a detailed project report (DPR) of the project, in case it is found workable in the first place.
The official said a major hindrance which might come in the way of the project is the population of the city. “The Metro project is generally approved for the city which has a population of more than 20 lakh. At present, Agra’s population is over 17.5 lakh. However, it is a global tourist destination and an upcoming city. Its population is also expected to cross 20 lakh by the time the feasibility study is completed,” the official added.
According to ADA’s estimation, Rs 5 crore will be needed for completing the two initial phases of the Metro project. “In 2009, when a similar feasibility test was conducted in Lucknow, around Rs 4 crore was spent. We are expecting that this time round it will be around Rs 5 crore. As the Centre and the state governments bear this cost in 50:50 ratio, the Union ministry approval become all the more important,” said the senior official.
The ADA town planning department has already submitted a report giving details of the city’s population, traffic and land available for the project in the city to the state government. The feasibility study will take forward this study and will focus on route alignment and types of construction — underground or overhead — based on the city’s demographics.
The state government is exploring the possibility of running Metro trains not only in Agra, but also in Kanpur city, Meerut and Varanasi and has directed the respective authorities to explore possibilities for its operation.