NEW DELHI: Even as the Centre’s new policy on metro rail says this mode of public transport should be the last option in any city because it is very capital intensive, there a rising demand from various cities across the country seeking metro corridors. The Centre has received proposals of construction of 834 km of metro corridors from 20 cities. The estimated cost of all these corridors comes to over Rs 3 lakh crore.
Cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi lead in demanding more corridors. For Mumbai, multiple corridors of a total length of nearly 130 km has been proposed at an estimated budget of Rs 53,242 crore.For Chennai, the Tamil Nadu government submitted a revised proposal in January for implementation of Phase-II of Chennai Metro for a total route length of 118.9 km at an estimated cost of Rs 69,180 crore.
Delhi has also proposed multiple corridors of a total length of 104 km with an estimated budget of Rs 46,845 crore. The Centre issued the Metro Rail Policy in August 2017, which focuses on systematic planning and implementation of metro rail systems in a more comprehensive and sustainable manner.
Officials said in the past, a few proposals have been sent back to the states for review due to various reasons. For instance, Jharkhand had submitted a proposal for a 16.25-km corridor in Ranchi. The proposal was returned in April 2018 with a request to consider strengthening of the existing bus fleet with other short and medium term measures, as suggested under various studies, before embarking upon the Mass Rapid Transit System.
The policy also says the states desirous of availing central financial assistance for upcoming metro rail projects should mandatorily explore the possibility of having a public private partnership arrangement.