At one go, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to give the green signal to three crucial metro projects this month.
States set to get their metro projects include poll-bound Maharashtra, PM’s home state Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh where BJP bagged 71 out of 80 seats in the recent Lok Sabha polls.
Modi is expected to announce the NDA government’s decision to launch metros in Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Lucknow on August 21 when he travels to Nagpur — headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and highways minister Nitin Gadkari’s parliamentary constituency,
The finance ministry is set to clear the three projects next week after which the urban development ministry will go to the cabinet.
“The three metro projects will come up for cabinet approval in the next fortnight. The cabinet will decide the funding model and its approval would pave the way for the formal commencement of work on these three projects” said a finance ministry official.
The estimated cost of the 39km-long Nagpur metro project is Rs. 8500 crore. The project that is being expedited with an eye on the assembly polls in the state later this year would be implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and would be funded jointly by Centre and the Maharashtra government.
Sources said Gadkari met the urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu early this week to discuss the project.
The first phase of the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar metro link will cover a stretch of 36 km and is estimated to cost about Rs. 10,000 crore while the 22 km-long Lucknow metro is estimated to cost Rs. 4,500 crore.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley in the 2014-15 budget has also allocated Rs. 100 crore each for the metro project in Ahmedabad and Lucknow.
“All the three projects have been given “in-principle” approval earlier but it is only now that they would be formally approved by the Centre. Its only after the Centre clears the project that work can start,” said an official.