Centre to come up with new Metro Rail policy

The Centre will come up with a new Metro tail policy for future projects, in line with the government-approved national policy on Transit Oriented Development (TOD), Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu said here on Sunday.

“The Centre is formulating a new Metro rail policy to enable innovative finance such as land value capture and Transit-Oriented Development for new Metro rail projects,” he said after flagging off the first underground stretch of the Metro rail service from Thirumangalam to Nehru Park here, in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami. The national policy on TOD has been formulated and approved by the Union government, he said, adding that this will form a mandatory requirement for all new Metro projects in the country.

He said that the Centre has standardised critical specifications of rolling stock and signalling systems of Metro rail for promoting standardisation and indigenisation.

He said that the government is also planning to roll out a ‘green urban mobility’ scheme, aimed at improving overall travel facilities in cities by providing last mile connectivity through non-motorised transport like pedestrian paths.

With the launch of the new stretch on Sunday, almost 28 kilometre of the total 45 kilometre of Phase-I of Chennai Metro rail has become operational, he said during the inauguration.

Palaniswami has sought the Centre’s approval for its proposed Rs 85,047 crore Phase-II of the Metro rail project comprising of three corridors running to 107 km. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has mentioned the project in its document in 2016-17 for extending financial support. The project has been submitted to the central government for approval. “I would request the Union minister for urban development to expedite the process for the approval of the project,” he said.

The Chief Minister alleged that the previous DMK government delayed the Metro rail project when it was in power. “When Metro rail project was approved by the Government of India at a cost of Rs 14,600 crore, the DMK was in power between 2006-11, but spent only Rs 1,143 crore,” he said.

He said that in the ongoing Phase-I of the Metro rail project, almost 34.3 kilometre of the total 36.4 kilometre underground lines have already been completed and the remainder would be completed by the end of 2017. The underground tunnel between Chinnamalai to Washermenpet will be completed by mid-2018, thus completing the entire Phase-I of the project.

Amid the charges of the BJP government’s role in the split of AIADMK, Naidu said the central and state governments should work as a team to bring in development. Praising the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa and his cordial interactions with her for several years, he said that he hopes that the state government will work towards fulfilling the dreams of Jayalalithaa.

“I assure you that the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will extend full support to fulfil the dream of Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu,” he told Palaniswami.

Source : DNA

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