The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) gave its thumbs-up to the Lucknow Metro Rail on Thursday assuring that a formal approval would be accorded to the project within a month.
“We had a very fruitful and positive round of discussion and are now keenly forward to working jointly with the MoUD in implementing the project,” managing director of Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) Kumar Keshav told Hindustan Times over phone from New Delhi.
The ongoing deadlock on the project was broken at a meeting of MoUD secretary Madhusudan Prasad with principle secretary, housing, town and urban planning department of UP, Sada Kant and MD LMRC.
The discussions on the project, which broke down in August last year, resumed after chief minister Akhilesh Yadav formally took up the issue with both the prime minister and the home minister and also wrote individually to urban development and finance minister.
“The project documents would be sent to the finance ministry after which another meeting with the PIB would be held,” said MD LMRC adding that the procedural formalities were expected to be completed within a month.
The MoUD has earmarked Rs. 83,000 crore and is considering project funding for metro rail system in nine cities including Lucknow Metro Rail. Other cities are Nagpur, Pune, Vijayawada, Ahmedabad and Vijayawada.
Thursday’s meeting assumes significance as centre’s green signal is a mandatory prerequisite for procuring foreign loan and also because LMRC has floated tenders, to be opened on April 21, for procuring cars and signalling system worth Rs. 1009 crore.
But the vendors are reluctant to take up the offer in the absence of project sanction.
A top-priority of the state government, work on the Lucknow Metro Rail had commenced in September 2014 following an inprinciple approval by the central government.
But as the project gathered steam, LMRC bosses efforts to obtain a formal sanction was coldshouldered by both MoUD and Public Investment Board (PIB) officials in the last meeting which took place in August, 2014.
The unrelenting stance and delay deprived LMRC of the Rs 50 crore financial assistance promised by the Centre for the project in its 2014-15 budget.