Bangalore (SBC): Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu has said that there were proposals to introduce metro services in nine cities including Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Pune and Vijayawada.
Speaking at the inauguration of Reach 3B of Namma Metro here on Friday, Naidu said that the new projects provide metro connectivity for a distance of 223 km and are estimated to cost Rs 83,000 crore. With this expansion, the demand for rolling stock is set to go up and hence the government had been encouraging production of metro coaches the country, he added.
At present, metro coaches are made indigenously at three facilities – Beml in Bengaluru (150 coaches per year), Bombardier in Gujarat (350 coaches) and Alstom’s unit in Chennai (120 coaches per year). “Out of the 2,100 coaches that Delhi metro needs for its three phases, 1,850 are being indigenously manufactured,” Naidu said. Bombardier has signed a contract with Australia for exporting 450 metro cars.
The delivery will begin by the end of this year. Similarly, Alstom will supply 132 metro cars to Australia beginning August, 2017.
One of the key objectives of smart cities initiative is to put in place an efficient and reliable public transportation system enabling easy mobility. Special status will be granted to 500 cities having a population of more than a lakh, under the newly launched Amrut scheme, he said.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who spoke on the occasion, said that the Mekedatu project if implemented, would help Karnataka impound up to 35 tmc of water which could be utilised for potable purposes.
“I led an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. I have told Modi that Tamil Nadu’s
opposition to the project is politically motivated,” Siddaramaiah said. He reiterated that the State government was committed to implement Mekedatu project.