Ministry of Urban Development mulling 3rd Party assessment of Metro Rail projects

NEW DELHI: The Urban Development Ministry is mulling independent assessments of proposals for metro rail projects from different states by a third party to ensure “rigorous and objective” appraisal of those.

The ministry is currently finalising a new metro policy which aims at ensuring that all alternate modes of mass transport are explored before the project is proposed.

According to an official, the Urban Development Ministry is considering a mechanism to justify the projects keeping in view the present and future traffic projections in the context of expansion of cities.

“To ensure rigorous and objective appraisal of metro projects, the ministry is considering a third party independent assessment of metro projects,” he said.

The ministry is also considering a ‘new appraisal framework’ for metro projects which have shelf life of over 100 years.

The present methods of appraisal take into consideration a project’s shelf life of 30 to 40 years and thus are inadequate to capture the full economic and environmental outcomes of metro projects over a longer period of time, the official said.

It is also thinking of introducing a parameter which will consider long term economic gains, including job creation and environmental protection, for approving metro projects.

Since the new metro policy seeks to promote private investments under the preferred PPP model, it would also go for a clear ‘dispute resolution mechanism’ to address the concerns of private investors.

New innovative financing like Value Capture Financing along mass transit corridors will also be an integral part of the new metro policy.

At present the total length of metro rail operational in different cities across the country is 326 km. More than 500 km are at various stages of implementation and over 600 km under consideration.