Nine cities to get 313 km of metro rail connectivity by March 2019

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New Delhi: Nine cities will get an additional 313 km of Metro rail connectivity by March 2019, almost double the current 370-km operational length in eight cities since the first metro rail service in 1984. The cities include Lucknow, Nagpur, Kochi, Hyderabad, Delhi, Noida, Chennai and Bengaluru.

According to a media report, close to 537 km of metro tracks are under construction at present.

Aside from the Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Lucknow, projects approved by the current National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, the rest were given the go-ahead by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

With respect to funding, the Central and the state governments follow a 50-50 equity venture model. The Centre gives assistance of up to 20 percent of a project’s costs, excluding land costs. It provides 14 percent equity and the subordinate debt accounting for about six percent. The remaining contributions are taken up by the state government in the form of loans.

An official of the housing urban affairs ministry told the media that the budgetary allocations for metro lines have increased to Rs 42,696 crore in the 2015-18 period. This is a 258 percent increase from the previous Rs 16,565 crore from the 2012-15 period.

The latest cities to join the metro rail club are Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Nagpur, expanding the number to 12 cities with metro rails.

Of these four budding metro rail cities, Lucknow will be the first city to open its 8.5 km rail to the public in a fortnight.

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