Agra Metro | No groundwork after DPR, project seems to be on a slow track

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(Taj Mahal in Agra)

AGRA: While Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Union home minister Rajnath Singh, on Tuesday, jointly flagged off an 8.5 km stretch of the first Metro train in Lucknow, work on the much-awaited Agra Metro seems to be on a slow track. No groundwork has been done after a detailed project report (DRP) was submitted to the Agra Development Authority (ADA) last year by the engineering consultancy firm Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES). The DPR had subsequently underwent technical changes and approved by the state government.

The 30-km long Metro rail project, proposed during the Samajwadi Party (SP) regime, was to be developed in two phases. The former UP government had planned Metro infrastructure in Lucknow, Agra, Varanasi and Kanpur.

According to the DPR, three-coach trains will make 136 trips per day (in a single direction) on Corridor One, from Sikandra (Akbar’s tomb) to Taj Mahal via Agra Fort, and 160 trips on Corridor Two, Agra Cantt to Kalindi Vihar. Both corridors will have 15 stations each. The development of the first corridor was slated to be completed by June 2022. The report had also stated that altogether 210 acres of land would be required for building stations, depots and other facilities. Moreover, a total of 159 structures, mostly commercials, will be affected by the Metro construction.

According to an earlier statement given by the ADA, the project was estimated to be built at a cost of Rs 200 crore per kilometre for the elevated sections, and Rs 450 crore per kilometre for the underground stretch. Official sources said that an initial allocation of Rs 10 crore was made during the last budget but it is yet to be released.

Talking to Media, a senior ADA official said, “Budget allocated for Metro rail development project has not been released by the state government. We are ready with the DRP and can implement it once funds are given. The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 11,000 crore.”

Some of the major Metro stations of the first corridor are proposed to be built at the Taj Mahal East gate, Agra Fort, Jama Masjid, Heeng Ki Mandi, Raja Mandi, Guru Ka Taal and ISBT. The second corridor will be 16 km in length and will include stations in Sadar Bazaar, Pratapura, St John’s crossing, Subhas Park, Kamlanagar and Rambagh.

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