Patna metro rail project gets key nod
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to lay the foundation stone for the project once the revised detailed project report (DPR) is cleared by the Union cabinet.
In a key development on the long-delayed Patna metro rail project, the Public Investment Board (PIB), an autonomous body to examine investment plans of different ministries of the Central government, gave its nod to the proposal on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to lay the foundation stone for the project once the revised detailed project report (DPR) is cleared by the Union cabinet. “Everything is in place and all queries regarding the project have been replied with technical details. We hope the proposal will have no difficulty in getting through the Union cabinet,” said Chaitanya Prasad, principal secretary of urban development department (UDD), Bihar, who was present at the PIB meeting in Delhi.
The state government had earlier submitted revised DPR of the project, conceived by the Bihar government in 2013, to the Centre for the mandatory procedural clearance.
The state government would receive substantial financial grant to execute the project, now estimated to cost ₹13,400 crore, against the original estimate of ₹16,960 crore in 2016.
The Centre is expected to contribute 20% of the total cost.
A comprehensive plan for developing the network of metro rail in Patna was discussed and proposed by the Rites Limited, a government of India enterprise, in the length of about 60 km in four phases. However, the work will commence on only two stretches, east-west and north-south corridors, in the first phase in the length of 30 km. “Rest of the project will be planned in detail at later a stage,” said Prasad.
In view of project’s prerequisites, the UDD has stepped up efforts to set up the special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the project, Patna Metro Rail Corporation Limited (PMRCL), of which Prasad has been appointed as chairman by virtue of being the departmental head.
“Process is on to appoint three out of five directors. Special secretary, UDD, Sanjay Dayal, and a representative of finance department have also been named,” said Prasad, adding that other departments such as energy, road and transport were told to nominate their representatives urgently.
The SPV will also hire technical experts from different departments, including those from the railways, on deputation. “We can also hire from the market if the need arises,” said the principal secretary.
PMRCL, which has been set up with an authorised capital of ₹2000 crore, is responsible for arranging the fund, roping in consultants and implementing the project. The SPV will hold investors’ meeting and approach international funding agencies to arrange monetary assistance.
The East Central Railway (ECR), on its part, has already appointed a 1998-batch Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer, Vinit Kumar, as officer on special duty (OSD) to coordinate with the ministry of railways and the state government for smooth execution of the project. Kumar was earlier the senior divisional commissioner of Danapur rail division.
Revised project cost: ₹13,400 crore (1st phase)
Original project cost: ₹16,960 crore.
Total length of metro network: 60km
Length of first phase plan: 31km
Number of stations planned in 1s phase: 24
Estimated time to complete first phase: 2021
Type of construction: Elevated & Underground
State Cabinet’s clearance to original DPR: February 2016
Route plan: Phase 1
East West Corridor (14.50 km): Phase-1: Saguna, Raja Bazar, Raj Bhawan, Patna high court, Income Tax round about, Dak Bunglaw, Patna junction, Mithapur bus stand
North South Corridor (16.50 km): Phase-2: Patna junction, Gandhi Maidan, PMCH, NIT, Gandhi Setu, Kumrar, NMCH, Kumhrar, Gandhi Setu, Transport Nagar, ISBT and Bairiya bus stand
Additional Proposed plan
Phase 2 (5km): Digha, Dighaghat, New Patliputra Colony, Shiv Puri, Boring Road crossing
Phase 3: (13km): Mithapur, Gardanibagh, Chitkohra, Phulwari Sharif, AIIMS
Phase 4 (12km): Mithapur, Lohia Nagar, Kankarbagh, Income Tax Colony, Choti Pahari, Ranipur, Deedarganj