Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday green signalled a metro rail system for Lucknow ending over a year-long suspense over the project.
“There is an imperative need to have a metro rail for Lucknow,” said the CM paving way for the much sought after modern, but one of the most expensive public transport systems. With Yadav taking the final call, the five-member highpowered steering committee is expected to set the ball rolling on the project. The formalities are expected to take about six-months time after which bids would be invited to select a developer for the project, which in all likelihood would be given shape on the Hyderabad model.
“We have studied the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project, which is being given shape on public-private-partnership (PPP) model,” said a member of the panel.
“The existing DPR drafted by the DMRC may have to be tweaked and costs may have to be re-jigged because of certain changes and modification in the proposed alignment and route,” he added. Interestingly enough, the design change in the blueprint is expected to bring down the Rs. 12,600 crore price tag quoted by the DMRC for the coveted project. “This can be achieved by doing away with underground tracks and planning the whole system on an overhead route,” he said. While the cost of a kilometre of over-head track comes round to Rs. 180 crore that of an under ground is around Rs. 500 crore per kilometer. In fact, we can have a much larger coverage for the service at the project cost cited by DMRC,” said the official. Since resource mobilisation is one of the major challenges before the authorities, the panel is working on a funding plan under which the state government’s share is kept down to the minimum.