NEW DELHI: Nine cities including Delhi, Noida, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Kochi, Bengaluru and Chennai are set to get additional 313 km on Metro Rail connectivity by March 2019. Till now the mass transit system is operational only on 370 kms in eight cities since the first Metro service began in Kolkata in 1984.
While most of the projects nearing completion were sanctioned during UPA, three projects in Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Lucknow were approved during Narendra Modi government. Completion of more Metro Rail projects are likely to be an issue during BJP’s election campaign. A total of 537 kms of metro sections are under under construction.
An official of housing urban affairs ministry said, “To speed up Metro expansion in view of growing traffic and pollution, the central government has increased budgetary provision for Metro projects to Rs 42,696 crore during 2015-18, marking an increase of 258% over that of Rs 16,565 crore during 2012-15 period.”
He added that the focus has been on ensuring close coordination and monitoring with states and agencies concerned for quick implementation of projects. Four new cities – Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Nagpur – will in the process come on the Metro map of the country taking the number of cities with metro services to 12.