India to kick start $10.3bn of work on four urban rail systems

India to kick start $10.3bn of work on four urban rail systems

NEW DELHI: The government is set to put its final stamp on five metro rail projects across the country- two in UP, one each in Gujarat and Bihar and the first phase of Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS) in NCR – before the poll code of conduct kicks in.

The government is also keen to lay the foundation stone for the metro projects involving an investment of approximately Rs 56,000 crore.

Sources said the Public Investment Board (PIB) took up all the projects for Agra, Kanpur, Patna, Ahmedabad and the RRTS between Delhi and Meerut. PIB approval is mandatory since the central government puts equity in all metro projects where the works are executed by an entity like DMRC where the Union government and the state concerned have 50-50 partnership.

TOI has learnt that soon after getting the PIB approval, the projects will be placed before the cabinet for the final clearance and to start work quickly.

Officials said while RRTS phase-I would cost around Rs 32,000 crore, the Kanpur and Agra Metro projects would require about Rs 12,000 crore. The two projects have a combined length of 62 km. The total cost of Patna metro rail project, which includes the land cost, is about Rs 13,000 crore.

One of the major stumbling block in the RRTS project is Delhi government’s stand of not to pay its share. The UT government has claimed it is facing fund crunch. Sources said the Centre is working on a strategy how to overcome this issue including by utilising a portion of the green tax that is collected in the city from heavy and commercial vehicles for entering Delhi.

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