On 16th August 2017, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a new Metro Rail Policy that seeks to enable realization of growing metro rail aspirations of a large number of cities but in a responsible manner.
Indian cities are growing rapidly. There is a need to direct growth in a planned manner with adequate attention to the transport system at early stages in their development. Cities are witnessing fast growth in the number of personal motor vehicles, with severe congestion and pollution being the most visible manifestation of the growth in the number of motor vehicles. Efforts at remedying the situation will need to focus on improving the public transport system. In several cities this would require implementation of Mass Transit systems such as metro rail, bus rapid transit, light rail, etc.
Urban Rail, popularly referred to as Metro Rail, has seen substantial growth in India in the recent years. More cities are experiencing the need for metro rail to meet their day-today mobility requirements. Most of the metro rail projects have been financed by the central government in partnership with the state governments, while some have been funded by the state governments either on their own or with private partnership. Metro rail projects provide high capacity public transit and are capital intensive. However, considering the rapid urbanization and the imminent need for enhancing mobility in cities through metro rail, it is imperative to explore alternative and innovative sources of funds to supplement the budgetary resources. At the same time, it is also important to ensure that the proposals are prepared and appraised in a comprehensive manner to enhance urban mobility as well as the speed and quality of implementation of metro projects. It is in this context that the need for a policy on metro rail has been felt necessary to ensure that such systems are decided upon and implemented in the most sustainable manner from the social, economic and environmental perspectives.
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