Metro expansion goes off track

Officials say complying with new regulations will take time, thus delaying the next phase

Published: 19th August 2017 11:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2017 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Fate of Delhi Metro Phase IV is uncertain after the Centre approved New Metro Policy this week. Officials said complying with the provisions under the new policy would take time, leading to a year’s delay in the project.

Under Phase IV, Metro network in Delhi had to be expanded by 104 km. The six corridors that had to be constructed, include Rithala-Bawana-Narela (21.73km), Inderlok-Indraprastha (12.58km), Aerocity-Tughlakabad (20.20km), Lajpat Nagar-Saket G-Block (7.96km), Janakpuri (west) RK Ashram (28.92km) and Mukundpur-Maujpur (12.54km).

A senior official of the ministry of housing and urban affairs said, “New detailed project report (DPR) need to be submitted before the ministry. Under the new policy, the state citing reasons for necessity of metro construction in the stretches earmarked for Phase IV, and why other transportation modes of can’t be used in place of metro.”

The DPR will then be assessed by a committee of experts.

“Now, the states have been told to give details of connectivity from metro stations focusing on a catchment area of five km. Project should contain details of availability of feeder services, non-motorised transport infrastructure like walking and cycling pathways etc. Besides, details about proposals and investments that would be made for such services should also be there and all these things would take time,” added the official.

The Centre is of the view that Metro train projects are cost intensive. “The new policy says that the metro projects should be planned and executed with a longer future perspective as it has limited flexibility in design changes on completion of construction. Keeping this in mind, the ministry has said that the proposals for new projects will be given green signal only after all these details in the project report,” added the officer.

The metro network has seen a massive growth in India, with about 325 km in operation and more than 500 km under construction. Metro projects are on in Delhi, NCR, Lucknow, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Ahemedabad, Nagpur, Pune and Jaipur.
The new policy also calls for greater innovative financing through transit oriented development and states have been told to explore the option of public-private partnership.

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