The city of Nawabs became the latest Indian metropolis to usher in a metro rail with Union home minister Rajnath Singh and chief minister Yogi Adityanath flagging off the Lucknow metro service on Tuesday.
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav under whose government the Lucknow Metro project had started, skipped the function at the Transport Nagar station.
“It is your metro and you will have to take care of it now. People are the main inspiration behind the fast pace of metro project,” the CM said after flagging off metro train decked up with flowers.
Adityanath announced the formation of a body to expedite metro projects in other cities of the state.
“Now, one body – the UP Metro Corporation – will oversee all projects in the state under the guidance of ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan,” he said.
Praising Sreedharan, the CM described him as an example for the country’s bureaucracy when it came to the execution of work in time.
Adityanath also congratulated managing director of Lucknow metro rail corporation (LMRC) Kumar Keshav and his team for completing the first phase of Lucknow Metro before the deadline and said it was a big achievement.
“Lucknow Metro will help in decongesting city traffic. Work on the project will be completed by 2019,” the CM said.
“Metro rail project will also come up in other cities. Detailed project report is being prepared. After Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi are in the pipeline,” he said.
Also Read: Hyderabad Metro receives 6 awards
Union home minister Rajnath Singh said Lucknow would not only be known as ‘city of Nawabs’ but also as ‘city of Metro’. “It will change the face of Lucknow. The city will develop at a much faster speed after the roll-out of this service,” he said.
Singh, who represents Lucknow in Lok Sabha, dedicated the facility to former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee.
“Lucknow has become smart today,” he said, promising further development for the city in the form of Ring Road.
Addressing the gathering, Sreedharan said Lucknow’s dream had been fulfilled and that Rajnath Singh would soon inaugurate the next phase of metro.
LMRC managing director, Kumar Keshav said the facility would bring about rapid development as it did in Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai.
The inauguration of 8.9 km metro corridor is on an elevated stretch. The service will be thrown open for the public from Wednesday. The service will be available from 6 am to 10 pm.
The response of the people to Lucknow Metro has been enthusiastic and about 4,000 metro smart cards have been sold till now.
Union minister of state for urban development Hardeep Singh Puri said Lucknow Metro was a world-class project.
“Metro rail is in PM Narendra Modi’s scheme of things. By 2050, when there will be influx of people in urban areas, the country will require more metro trains and houses,” said Puri.