Metro projects in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kochi will begin in two years, Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy Rajya Sabha said on Thursday.
He said the government is encouraging these projects so that “we can strengthen public transportation, which is the only way to reduce traffic problem on the road”.
The projects for these four cities are in different stages of approval. As far as Metro projects are concerned, Reddy added that the government’s effort was to expedite the process and in two years “we will be able to lay the foundation stones and start working”.
With proposals for Metro rail projects lined up in several cities, the minister said the government has come forward with assistance in states that have made a request.
“We will be more than willing to finance all the cities, but initiative has to be taken by the states.”
He said BRTS projects have been approved for nine cities, including Ahmebadad, Rajkot, Surat, Indore, Bhopal, Pune-Pimpri-Chinchwad, Vijayawada, Bhopal and Jaipur under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
He said the government has urged the states to construct separate tracks for cycles and pedestrians while implementing BRTS.
State governments should develop “comprehensive transportation plan” for their cities, he added.