Central Govt would focus on expanding metro network across the country

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New Delhi: Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said the government would focus on expanding metro network across the country.

Naidu, who is a frequent traveller on the Airport Express Line, said he was trying to encourage his colleagues and others to use metro services and announced that Delhi Metro smart cards would be valid for travel in the New Delhi Station-IGI Airport section also.

“I am trying to persuade other ministers, MPs to avail the services of Metro regularly. The Prime Minister himself had travelled recently. We spend so much in running the facilities so optimum use is imperative,” Naidu said.

According to Metro officials, the Union Minister had travelled over 35 times in the mass transit network during his trips in and out of the national capital via flights.

“The idea is to have network of metro across the country. We need to have less private and more public transport and that is the need of the hour. We will be focusing on expanding metro throughout the country,” Naidu said.

The Minister, who would flag off the Phase I of Bangalore Metro tomorrow, said Chennai Metro would be made operational by the end of next month and that DMRC has prepared a DPR for the proposed metro for the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh.

“We are moving towards modernisation of India. PM wants transformation of India that’s why NITI Aayog was brought in replacing the Planning Commission. We must have a strong economy, smart solutions, smart leadership,” he said.

Meanwhile, tomorrow onwards, Delhi Metro smart cards would be valid for travel by the Airport Express Line, making a seamless travel between the two networks possible.

“There is no need for DMRC Smart Card holders to purchase any additional token or card separately for travel on the Airport Express Line however the existing smart cards issued from the stations on the Airport Express Line will continue to be valid only for travel on the Airport Express Line,” an official said.

Earlier today, the Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) organised a conclave at the India Habitat Centre (IHC) to showcase the emerging opportunities that exist in Uttar Pradesh in the Mass Rapid Transit (MRTS) sector.

LMRC Managing Director Kumar Keshav, who spoke on the occasion, said DPRs of Metro projects for Kanpur, Varanasi, Agra and Meerut would be submitted to the government in about four months.

“Once it is approved by the cabinet, the work for Metro rail projects will start very soon in these cities, thus, providing plethora of opportunities for all our stakeholders in this sector,” Keshav added

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