New policy may derail 13 cities' Metro plan
New Delhi: In a major move aimed at giving a push to private investment to promote Make in India initiative, the Centre on Wednesday approved the New Metro Policy. With the approval of the new Metro policy, the 13 cities, which had already submitted their detailed project reports (DPRs), would now have to submit it afresh in accordance with the new guidelines of the policy.
According to union urban development secretary Durga Shankar Mishra, there are several new clauses added to the New Metro Policy, so the cities have to submit their new DPRs fulfilling all the requirements such as funding viability, better infrastructure for starting Metro services, etc.
The main cities that have to submit their DPRs again include Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bhopal, Indore, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Patna, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, etc, which effectively means their proposals, which were at the consideration stage, may now hit a dead end.
Currently, metro rail services are operational in seven cities covering an area of 370 km. As much as 537 km in 12 cities are under construction and proposals for almost 600 km are under consideration, said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while addressing reporters after a Cabinet meeting.
The 14-page policy opens a big window for private investments across a range of metro operations by making PPP component mandatory for availing central assistance for new metro projects. In the new policy, the states have been allowed to take up metro projects they 'arrange' their own financial plan for rolling out the services on PPP model as the Centre would provide 10 per cent financial assistance for the project under the 50:50 equity sharing model.
The new policy has also empowered states to make rules and regulations and set up permanent Fare Fixation Authority for timely revision of fares. Under the new policy, states have to clearly indicate in the project report on the measures to be taken for commercial/property development at stations. As per the policy, the states are also required to commit to accord all required permissions and approvals.