Lucknow: Official hurdles have hampered the Meerut and Agra Metro Rail projects. Officials attribute this to the state government’s preferential treatment towards the projects in Kanpur and Varanasi. This seems evident as the state budget allocated around Rs 50 crore each for the projects in Kanpur and Varanasi and none for the western UP towns.
The detailed project report (DPR) of the Meerut Metro, officials said, is ready but has to be vetted by a team from the Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC). The LMRC team’s scheduled visit to Meerut has been pending for over a month, following which a report will be sent to the state government.
“There is a long, tedious process before construction work on the Metro can commence. There are two aspects – technical and administrative. The administrative aspect will be taken care of the Meerut Development Authority and the local administration. As far as the technical aspect is concerned, MDA officials have created a DPR. This includes specific technical details like where pillars will be erected and specifications of Metro stations. This DPR will be studied by the LMRC. After this, a team will be sent to Meerut to suggest changes, if any. The MDA and local administration have been waiting for a response from the LMRC but we don’t know why the visit is taking so long,” a government official not wishing to be named told Media.
The official further added, “The four Metro projects – Meerut, Agra, Kanpur and Varanasi – were meant to be parallel projects. This implies that work should have been carried out simultaneously. For reasons best known to officials in Lucknow, the Kanpur and Varanasi Metro projects are moving along much further. After the LMRC clears the DPR, the local administration will send a report to the chief secretary, who will send it to the state cabinet for approval. The proposal will then be sent to the Centre.”
“Only after the Centre gives its nod to the proposal, the Meerut Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) will be formed. While we’re still waiting for the LMRC to approve our DPR, the Kanpur project is at the state government level. Also, the Kanpur Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) is likely to be formed by this year. I can’t say the same for the MMRC.”