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The urban development ministry is mulling over a proposal to reduce the population norm for financing metro rail projects. Currently, the Centre finances Metro projects in towns and cities with a population of more than 20 lakh.
“We are considering reducing the population criteria to 10 lakh,” said urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu at a function at Metro Bhawan. According to Census 2011, there are 53 cities with a population of over 10 lakh.
Naidu said there was an increase of 30% in ridership on the airport metro in the past one month. He said the airport metro’s operating losses had come down.
Naidu on Monday inaugurated India’s first ever solar power plant at a Metro station at Dwarka Sector 21 from Metro Bhawan. Union minister of state for power Piyush Goyal was also present on the occasion.
The units generated by this 500 kWp rooftop plant will be used for meeting the power requirements at this station. Dwarka’s is the largest rooftop plant with such capacity in the entire NCR region under the Renewable Energy Service (RESCO) model.
Under this model, the developer invests, owns and operates the plant and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) purchases it through a power purchase agreement (PPA).
The DMRC will be installing five more such solar power generating rooftop plants in the near future at Yamuna Bank station, Yamuna Bank depot, Anand Vihar station, Pragati Maidan station and Metro’s residential complex at Pushp Vihar. The DMRC is likely to start generating 20 MW electricity through these plants in the next three years.
DMRC officials said they will continue to explore the possibility of installing more such plants at its stations, depots, parking lots as well as residential complexes in future.