Metro rail projects coming up in 15 Indian cities

Metro rail projects, involving more than 664 km of tracks, are under implementation in 15 cities across the country, while more than 515 km of Metro lines are operational in the country, Hardeep S Puri, minister of state for housing and urban affairs, said on Tuesday.

Addressing a meeting of members of the consultative committee attached to the ministry of housing and urban affairs in New Delhi, the minister stated that the ministry has taken various initiatives to improve urban transport in the country in the recent past.
Giving details of the Metro Rail projects currently under operation and those being implemented, Puri said several new cities are aspiring to have Metro Rail Systems. He said state governments and union territories have been advised to prepare detailed project report (DPR) in line with the provisions in the Metro Rail Policy 2017 for implementing new projects.
He also said that Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) projects comprising 373 km between Delhi-Meerut, Delhi-Panipat and Delhi-Alwar are under planning. All new metro projects are approved subject to provision of last mile connectivity for the passengers. Provision of last mile connectivity for the Delhi Metro by a newly created entity is at an advanced stage and is likely to be completed soon, he said.
The minister said that the MoHUA has released funds to various Metro Rail Projects to the tune of Rs9,286.09 crore in 2015-16, Rs15,298.61 crore in 2016-17, Rs13,956.23 crore in 2017-18 and Rs7,481.28 crore in 2018-19 (up to 30 September 2018).
Puri said, in order to create an ecosystem for metro rail, the ministry of housing and urban affairs has notified the Metro Rail Policy, 2017. “The policy bridges the gap for ascertaining and enhancing the feasibility of metro rail projects from economic, social and environmental perspective. This aims to focus on systematic planning and implementation of metro rail systems and act as a guide to state governments for preparing comprehensive proposals for metro rail projects”, he emphasised. 
The policy also enables greater private participation and innovative financing through Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and Value Capture Finance (VCF), he added. 
The centre, he said, provides financial support for metro rail projects in the form of grants to states of up to 10 per cent of project cost or in the form 50:50 equity sharing with state governments or viability gap funding to the extent of 20 per cent of the capital cost of public transport projects under PPP model.
Puri said the National Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Policy announced in May 2017, with the objective of encouraging compact mixed use development, reduces the need for travel and improve the access to public transport. He pointed out that the policy aims to promote inclusive habitat by ensuring that the people dependent on public transport can live in the liveable communities within the walkable distance of transit stations. City specific strategies and mechanism may be framed for implementation of TOD, he said. 
The ministry has also formulated and issued standards for all components for Metro Rail Systems, viz, rolling stock, signalling systems, electrical and electromechanical components and civil engineering structures to promote “Make in India” and reduction in cost, he said.
The 11th Urban Mobility India (UMI) Conference is planned from 2 to 4 November 2018 at Nagpur, with the theme `Green Mobility’ to disseminate up-to-date and best urban transport practices information to the cities and to bring together the technology and service providers, policy makers, practitioners, officials in urban transport from India and abroad, he added.