Lucknow: With the centre insisting on a unified metro rail authority in states for overseeing all future metro projects, the Uttar Pradesh Government is ready with the draft blueprint of a dedicated regulatory body.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath set the ball rolling on September 5 when he announced the setting up of UP Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC). “We have submitted the proposal for the corporation and it is now being vetted by the law department,” confirmed a housing department official, adding that the regulatory body would be modelled on the lines of Maha-Metro Rail Corporation of Maharashtra. UP had nine metro rail projects in various stages under its belt and so there was an urgent need for such an umbrella body to supervise them, he said.
“Ours is the only state in the country which has so many metro rail projects going on in various cities at the same time. Since these are major capital intensive projects and require a lot of coordination with other departments for power, land and other infrastructure facilities, a separate body to supervise and manage these ventures was required,” he said.
Like the Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC), a consultancy partner of the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), this authority too would have metro rail, transport experts, planning and engineering professionals as members. The authority, besides ensuring execution of metro rail projects, would also advise the state government on various other urban transport and mobility solutions.
The organisation’s head would be the chief secretary or an officer equal in rank. The authority would be under the administrative control of the UP Housing Town and Country Planning Department, whose principle secretary would be its member secretary.
Metro rail projects are presently underway in Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Noida and Greater Noida. While the foundation stone for Kanpur metro has already been laid, RITES (Rail India Technical and Engineering Services) is preparing the DPRs of Agra, Meerut and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency, Varanasi. Work to draft the metro rail blueprint is also on in UP CM’s constituency Gorakhpur and Allahabad.
The UP government has already appointed ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan as its principal advisor for all metro rail ventures in the State. Till this full-fledged body takes a formal shape, the state government has appointed Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation – a special purpose vehicle overseeing the implementation of Lucknow Metro Rail project – as the nodal agency for the proposed Gorakhpur, Agra, Varanasi, Kanpur and Meerut metro rail projects.
“The LMRC is dominated by ex- DMRC experts and is hard pressed to monitor other projects with its skeleton work force. It has just initiated the process of hiring more staff to take care of its own day-to-day affairs and operations,” said an LMRC official.