How will the change of guard in the state affect Lucknow Metro work? Will the Metro become operational on March 26 or will the delay in government formation affect the launch? These are the questions doing the round in administrative circles.
Insiders in Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) say that the higher metro authorities are awaiting government formation in the state. They want to take up the launch of the project with the new state government at the earliest ,as every day lost is pushing the launch date further.
Much politics was played over the 8.9 km Metro stretch from Transport Nagar to Charbagh during the elections. Outgoing chief minister Akhilesh Yadav touted the project as an outstanding achievement of his government. During his election rallies, he blasted the centre for efforts to delay the project several times.
Akhilesh expressed apprehensions about the centre’s motive to hold back the NoC of commissioner railway safety. In one of his public meetings during elections in Lucknow, he said that people were saying that now one could enjoy a ride in the Metro train but they should know that the railway ministry--which comes under the Central government--had not given NoC to operate the train commercially. He further said that if the BJP government at the centre gave him the NoC, the train would start operating the next day.
However, home minister Rajnath Singh said the Samajwadi Party should not claim projects of the BJP as their own, as 80% of Lucknow Metro funding was from the centre.
Now the people have elected a BJP government in Uttar Pradesh but delay in government formation is hampering the LMRC’s plan to start Metro operation on March 26.
A highly placed LMRC official said, “ Despite talking big, the LMRC is not confident about the launch on March 26.There are two reasons behind this: first is absence of political leadership in the state at this crucial juncture and the second is delay in submitting report to ministry of railways by RDSO. So getting NoC from commissioner, railway safety is also getting delayed.”
The RDSO is yet to submit its report about Lucknow Metro to the ministry of railways. According to the process, once the report is submitted to the ministry, it would be forwarded to LMRC. The LMRC would approach commissioner railway safety with the report , following which a team sent by commissioner, railway safety would inspect the track and coaches.
Insiders say LMRC is getting engineering work and other tasks on the eight stations completed at a war scale.