The making of fastest developed Metro Rail System in the country: Kanpur Metro

Kanpur is arguably the biggest industrial city in Uttar Pradesh. Spread across 300 sq kilometres, the city has grown at a tremendously pace, with its current population hitting over 30 lakh people.

Kanpur Metro
Kanpur Metro


In an all together new development of its kind the UPMRCL (Uttar Pradesh Metro rail corporation) after the inauguration of priority corridor of Kanpur Metro on Dec 28th 2021 by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi stated that  trail run for priority corridor of Kanpur Metro beat Lucknow’s priority corridor trails by a margin of 69 days making Kanpur Metro the fastest developed Metro rail system in the country. 

The unique record became the centre of attention also because the project was halted for four and a half months during the corona pandemic period. The Corporation claimed that it took 795 days for the Lucknow Metro to start. The construction of Lucknow Metro started on September 28, 2014, and trail run was conducted on December 1, 2016. While in Kanpur Metro project, the construction started on November 15, 2019, and first official trial will begin on Wednesday post flag off by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. In total, it took only 726 days for Kanpur Metro to start trials.

The Kanpur Metro could achieve the feat as per officials of UPMRC for following reasons: 

  1. Used of Double T-girders to erect the station concourse – It was for the first time in India for the Metro project that girders were pre-casted at the factory floor and then brought to the construction site which was installed with the help of heavy lifter cranes. This method helped to save time.
  2. Utilizing the vicinity and non-congestion of lockdown – For Kanpur Metro the corona pandemic lockdown was utilized as an opportunity by expediting the construction in those areas of the Metro corridor which were often heavily congested during normal days. In order to ensure that labour were available during the corona pandemic, a labour colony was constructed. Facilities like food canteen, shelter with attached toilets and drinking water facilities were provided. Although, the project was halted for four and a half months in the pandemic arrangements were made for transportation facilities for those labourers who wanted to visit their villages to meet their dear ones. Such steps helped building the confidence and motivated the labourers to return and work for the project helping to complete it in a record time.
  3. Clear understanding with construction contractors – Confidence of construction contractors was gained. If the contractors had any issue, be it financial, material or anything else the contractors were asked to directly contact senior officials for immediate remedies. 
  4. Maintaining a uniform standard for the entire project — A uniform standard for entire project has been maintained which means that almost every girder or pillar is similar, which helped contractors to expedite the construction fast.

Kanpur Metro priority corridor is 9-km-long and stretches between IIT-Kanpur and Motijheel with nine stations, while Lucknow Metro trail stretch had eight stations in 8.7- km-long stretch between Transport Nagar and Charbagh.The Kanpur Metro project is funded by the European Investment Bank. Around 650 million euros (Rs 11076.48 crore) are being pumped into the project to construct two corridors, including a 23.7-km-long stretch between IIT-Kanpur and Naubasta and 8.6- km-long stretch between Agriculture University and Barra- sector 8. The entire cost of the Kanpur Metro project is expected to be realised within five years.


Kanpur is arguably the biggest industrial city in Uttar Pradesh. Spread across 300 sq kilometres, the city has grown at a tremendously pace, with its current population hitting over 30 lakh people. With an aim to provide Kanpur with planned development, a city that also has enormous historical and religious importance, the Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) was constituted under the UP Urban Development Act, 1973.

Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi inaugurated the completed section of the Kanpur Metro Rail project at around 1.30 pm, on December 28, 2021. The PM inspected the Kanpur Metro Rail Project and took a metro ride from the IIT metro station to Geeta Nagar. The completed nine-km stretch of the Kanpur Metro, is from IIT-Kanpur to Moti Jheel. Stations on the Kanpur Metro priority section, which was completed in a record two years’ time, include IIT-Kanpur, Kalyanpur, SPM Hospital, Kanpur University, Gurudev Crossing, Geeta Nagar, Rawatpur, GSVM Medical College and Moti Jheel

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Once fully operational, the Kanpur Metro would provide residents of the city access to a world-class transport system. Kanpur, an industrial city in Uttar Pradesh is home to over 41 lakh people and tit population is expected to reach 46.3 lakhs in 2021, making the metro network a much-needed infrastructure project.
To deal with the problem of rising number of registered vehicles in Kanpur and to provide efficient connectivity to its citizens, the authorities envisaged the construction of the Kanpur Metro. Even though building a mass transit transport network in one of the oldest industrial and densely populated cities is no ordinary feat, this dream is set to become a reality for the citizens of Kanpur. Here is a look at all the important details of the Kanpur Metro.


The Uttar Pradesh government approved the Kanpur Metro project in 2016, while the centre gave a go-ahead to the project in 2019. The Kanpur Metro is jointly financed by the centre and the Uttar Pradesh government.

The detailed project report for phase-1 of the Kanpur Metro was approved by the Uttar Pradesh cabinet in March 2016. The project is being implemented by the Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Limited (UPMRCL). The Kanpur Metro is also the first metro rail network in India to use double T-girders for a metro rail corridor, cutting down cost and time spent.


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The entire Kanpur metro route will be built in two phases. Under Kanpur Metro phase-1, a network spanning 32.385 kms will be built with two lines – the Red Line and the Blue Line. These lines will connect major public nodes and city cluster areas of Kanpur, thus, cutting down vehicular traffic and pollution. The transport network will also push demand for residential and commercial spaces along these corridors.

Metro Stations: Phase-1

Under phase-1, two corridors of the Kanpur Metro, the Red Line and the Blue Line will be built. The DPR for phase-1 pegs the total daily ridership in 2024 (when the proposed lines will be fully operational) at 9.4 lakhs, 10.8 lakhs in 2031 and 13.5 lakhs in 2041.

Metro Route Red Line

To run between IIT Kanpur and Naubasta, the 23.785-km Red Line of the Kanpur Metro will have 22 stations. While 15.164 kms of this line would be elevated, the remaining 8.621 kms will be underground.

Station list on Red Line

  • IIT Kanpur
  • Kalyanpur Railway Station
  • SPM Hospital
  • CSJM University
  • Gurudev Chauraha
  • Geeta Nagar
  • Rawatpur Railway Station
  • Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital
  • Moti Jheel
  • Chunniganj
  • Naveen Market
  • Bada Chauraha
  • Nayaganj
  • Birhana Road
  • Kanpur Central Railway Station
  • ISBT Jhakarkati
  • Old Transport Nagar
  • Kidwai Nagar North
  • Kidwai Nagar South
  • Yashoda Nagar
  • Baudh Nagar
  • Naubasta

Stations on 9-km priority corridor

  • IIT-Kanpur
  • Kalyanpur
  • SPM Hospital
  • Kanpur University
  • Gurudev Crossing
  • Geeta Nagar
  • Rawatpur
  • GSVM Medical College
  • Moti Jheel

The Red Line, with 14 elevated and eight underground stations will pass through the heart of the city, covering several prominent nodes and educational institutions in Kanpur, which is counted among the most populous Indian cities and the largest one in Uttar Pradesh. While work on Kanpur Metro Red Line is scheduled to be completed by December 2024, operation on priority corridor has been started from December 2021.

Blue Line

This 8.6-km elevated Blue Line corridor of the Kanpur Metro will run between Chandra Shekhar Azad University and Jaurali. The Blue Line will have a total of nine stations. The tender for this project is yet to be passed. The corridor, with elevated and underground stations, will provide connectivity to various densely-populated residential areas in Kanpur, including Kakadeo and Govind Nagar.

Metro Stations on Blue Line

  • CSA University
  • GSVM Medical College
  • Rawatpur Railway Station
  • Kakadeo
  • Vijay Nagar
  • Dada Nagar
  • Barra-7
  • Barra-8
  • Jarauli

Estimated Cost 

The estimated cost of the Kanpur Metro project is Rs 11,076.48 crores. The project is expected to be completed in five years. About 40 lakh people are expected to be benefitted by the new metro rail project.

Kanpur Metro work progress

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September : Kanpur Metro Rail Corporation formed.

November : DPR for phase-1 is submitted to the state government by LMRC and RITES.


March : Uttar Pradesh government approves phase-1 DPR.

October : Following the centre’s approval for the project, the former urban development minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, laid the foundation stone for the project along with the then Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav, at Brijendra Swaroop Park in Benajhabar.


July : Civil work started for phase-1.

September : Centre seeks changes in the DPR.

December : New DPR is prepared.


March : Uttar Pradesh cabinet approves Kanpur Metro project.

June : Finance Ministry gives in-principle approval to the Kanpur Metro.

September : DPR sent to the central government.


February : Uttar Pradesh allocates Rs 175 crores in its budget, to start preliminary work; Centre approves Kanpur Metro project.

March : PM Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone for the Kanpur Metro project.

July : LMRC invites tender for construction of elevated track and stations.

September :  Afcons Infra awarded tender to construct nine stations along with tracks and elevated viaduct.

November : CM Yogi Adityanath inaugurates civil work for the Kanpur Metro.


February : CM Yogi Adityanath allocates Rs 358 crores towards Kanpur Metro phase-1.

September : EIB to invest 650 million euros for the project.


February : Uttar Pradesh budget 2021-22 allocates Rs 597 crores for Kanpur Metro Rail Project.

May : Initial work starts for the 8.621-km underground section of Kanpur Metro.

June : UPMRC completes the track laying work for a stretch of around one km, from IIT Kanpur to Kalyanpur Railway station for the priority corridor.

The nine-km stretch from IIT-Kanpur to Motijheel, which became operational on 28th  December 2021 is part of the Red Line and it will connect some landmarks in Kanpur. It is termed as the priority corridor. Recall here that Noida, Ghaziabad and Lucknow are among the cities in UP with an operational metro network.


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While the entire project would take time to be completed, the government decided to proceed with the priority stretch, where the metro project is needed the most to relieve the city of traffic congestion. This priority stretch consists of nine metro stations. The second stretch of Kanpur metro would connect Motijheel to Transport Nagar area, which is scheduled to have under-ground stations.

The plan is to run six metro trains on the 9km stretch of the priority corridor in the initial phase and then add another six more trains. The project is unique in terms of using new technology. The ‘regenerative braking’ technology used in the project will save energy. It would ensure that for every 1000 units used, about 35 to 45 per cent units would be regenerated. The Kanpur Metro rail project, among other things proposes to provide about 56 USB charging points per train, talk-back button in case of emergency, long stop request button for the differently-abled. Further the train plans to use 100 per cent LED lights to reduce energy consumption. It would also have LCD panels for infotainment, along with CCTV cameras.


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