Special purpose vehicle to be set up for Metro

A special purpose vehicle (SPV) would be set up for undertaking the construction of the Metro Rail project proposed for the Tricity, and a core team of officials would be formed to work on setting up the project. Feedback from the Planning Commission would also be sought before further action is taken.

These decisions were taken during a meeting on the Metro Rail in New Delhi on Tuesday. Apart from officials of Chandigarh, representatives of Punjab and Haryana were present at the meeting which was held with the Ministry of Urban Development. The Detailed Project Report was submitted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to the UT Administration several months ago. DMRC officials who had prepared the DPR were also present at the meeting.

A detailed presentation was made by the Chandigarh Administration on different aspects of the project.

It was also decided to process the matter for setting up an entity in the form of an SPV. This SPV could be registered under the Companies Act as a public sector body either wholly owned by the Government of India or with equity participation from the state governments as well. The Chandigarh Administration will start work on documentation for formation of this entity in consultation with Punjab and Haryana and the Ministry of Urban Development.

There would be two corridors of the Metro Rail with a total length of 37.57 kilometres. A substantial part of the Metro line is in Chandigarh. The East-West Corridor would extend from Transport Terminal in Mohali to Grain Market in Panchkula. The North-East Corridor would be from Capitol Complex in Sector 9 to Gurdwara Singh Shaheeda in Mohali.

The total cost of the project is Rs 10,900 crore. This would be shared between Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana. It is proposed that within the sectoral grid of Chandigarh, the Metro would be underground keeping in view the heritage of the city. The cost of construction of underground Metro is almost three times the cost of elevated metro lines. Punjab and Haryana had already given consent for sharing of the cost of construction.

Sudhir Krishna, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, highlighted that in the long run new metro projects should be put underground, though availability of finance was an important consideration while finalising the decision on underground vs elevated metro lines.

It was decided to set up a core team of officials for the Metro Rail. Chandigarh as well as the two states have been asked by the ministry to nominate nodal officers for the project. A detailed discussion took place on various aspects of the project.

K K Sharma, adviser to the UT Administrator, pointed out that the Chandigarh region including the towns of Mohali, Panchkula and other areas falling under GMADA was already a centre of great economic enterprise. The Tricity metro would usher in further economic development, with quality of living going high with a neat and clean urban transport through Metro.

The officials decided that with the amount of investment in the project being high, the feedback provided by the representatives of the Planning Commission and other experts would be taken into account while taking further action in this matter by all officials concerned.