NEW DELHI: The Centre is deliberating a new Metro Rail policy keeping in mind the expanding network in cities across the country. The policy, which will act as a guide for preparing viable proposals for Metro Rail projects, is likely to be announced in the upcoming Budget.
A Green Mobility scheme promoting alternative fuels and non-motorised transport and a Metro Bill are also likely to figure in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget speech.
“The new policy will enable greater private participation, innovative financing through transit oriented development and value capture finance. It will also involve rigorous appraisal process. Apart from the currently available equity sharing model, it will have a model with a provision of grant to state governments,” said a senior government official.
The Metro Rail network has seen massive growth, with 325 km of tracks in operation and over 500 km under construction across the country. Metro projects are ongoing in Delhi/NCR, Lucknow, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Pune and Jaipur.
The Green Mobility Scheme will facilitate better last mile connectivity with non-motorised transport with footpaths, cycle tracks, bus rapid transit systems and an intelligent transport system. It will also encourage innovation in planning, design, structuring and implementation of urban mobility projects. “The budgetry support required over a five-year period will be `25,000 crore,” added the official.
Metro Rail projects in India are governed by two Central Acts, including the Metro Railways (Construction of Works Act ), and the Metro Railways (Operation and Maintenance Act). The new Metro Act will combine the provisions of the Acts and will allow greater powers to state governments for Metro Rail projects.