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Centre to support Metro rail projects in 19 cities

Noting that an efficient transport system was ‘critical’ for orderly growth of cities, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said the government has decided to support preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPR) for Metro rail in all 19 cities with a population of over two million.

Laying the foundation for the Rs 5,181 crore Kochi Metro project here, Singh said DPRs had already been prepared for 12 cities and Metro rail projects were being implemented in seven cities covering a total network of length 476 km at a cost of over Rs 1.15 lakh crore. The Delhi Metro is carrying about 22 lakh people daily, he said.

Pointing out that an efficient transport system was a service that was ‘critical’ to the orderly growth and development of cities, Singh said Metro rail was just one component of such a transport system.

‘We need to build our cities with multi-modal transport systems that efficiently integrate different modes of public transport like buses and trains. I understand that the Urban Development Ministry has taken several initiatives to promote sustainable transport practices in the country,’ he said.

These include support to Metro rail projects, Bus Rapid Transit Systems and sanction of city buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath said that ‘efficient and reliable urban transport systems are crucial for India to sustain a high growth rate. To improve the current urban transport situation the govt is giving much attention to Metro projects. Metro projects are already under implementation across the country - Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Jaipur.’

Asserting that another viable option for mass transport system could be explored in Mono-rails, Nath said, ‘I am informed that Mono rails is ideal as a feeder system to larger metro networks as well as for stand-alone shorter networks in the densely populated pockets of cities. One Mono-rail corridor has already been identified in Delhi and work has been entrusted to DMRC.’

He added, ‘The cities of Calicut and Thiruvananthapuram are also keen on setting up Mono rails. Calicut proposes a Mono rail of 14 Km length at a cost of Rs.1600 crore and Thiruvananthapuram proposes to have a Mono rail of 24 Km at a cost of Rs. 2500 crore.’
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