Lucknow seems to be looking up to Chennai to give shape to its own dream of having a metro rail system.
A two-member team of the specially constituted cell for Lucknow Metro Rail left for the capital of Tamil Nadu on Thursday to study their setup.
“Chennai started work on its metro rail in 2008. Its project parameters in terms of roads, traffic conditions and the size are almost similar to the one proposed by us,” a senior official associated with the project said.
Apart from sending a formal proposal for funding to the central government’s Ministry of Urban Development (MOUD), an immediate task at hand for the officials is to get the Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation registered and outline its management structure.
While the MOUD secretary would be its ex-officio chairman, the Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) is expected to have a senior IAS officer (principal secretary rank) at the helm as its managing director, who will be assisted by over a dozen other directors drawn from various streams.
“The R14,500 crore Chennai Metro Rail is expected to complete its first 23-kilometer phase, which happens to be the length of our corridor also, by 2013-15. The state and central government, each have contributed 20 per cent and the remaining 60 per cent they have taken as a loan from Japanese International Cooperative Agency (JICA),” said the official.
And if sources are to be believed, Lucknow would be emulating Chennai for bankrolling its own project, as JICA is known to charge the lowest interest rate on its loan.
The team would be back on Saturday after which it would submit a report to the state government.
Last month, housing secretary Rajeev Aggarwal, who happens to be the head of the panel on Lucknow metro rail, too had visited Chennai to examine their setup.
“We have gathered all the information and details and expect to dispatch a formal proposal to MOUD within a fortnight,” said the official.