UP Govt aims to begin Metro work in Kanpur, Varanasi simultaneously in 2016

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Lucknow: In an ambitious move, UP government is contemplating kick-starting the Metro rail project in Varanasi and Kanpur simultaneously in the new year. While the detailed project report (DPR) of Kanpur Metro has already been prepared, the one for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi is expected to be completed by the end of this month. The two reports would be brought before the state cabinet for a formal approval.

The announcement is likely to come through at a time when the ruling Samajwadi Party goes into an election mode in the wake of assembly elections due in 2017.

Principal secretary, UP housing and urban planning, Sadakant, confirmed to TOI that the Metro rail project in Kanpur would be clubbed with the one for Varanasi.

“Being the Prime Minister’s constituency, Varanasi is expected to get full support the Centre. Kanpur would, therefore, be clubbed with it so that it gets equal attention,” Sadakant said.

Sources in the housing department said that the DPR for the Kanpur Metro project has been prepared by the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) and submitted to the UP government.

“The one for Varanasi is in the final stages of preparation and is expected to be submitted within a fortnight,” said a senior official in the housing department.

UP government sources, however, said that the financing of the two projects would not be easy to come by. The UP government is likely to follow the Public Investment Board (PIB) route to get the Centre as well as foreign funding agencies on board to get the project running. The Lucknow Metro rail project was stuck with PIB for a long time. It was only two months ago that the board gave its formal consent to the Lucknow project, paving way for it to get funds from foreign shores. Sources said that the Centre may soon put forth a proposal to this effect in the cabinet soon.

“The Lucknow project is already in advance stage. It is high time that the same project was launched in other major cities of UP,” Sadakant said.

In the case of Varanasi, sources said, UP government is mulling to propose corridors linking Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) via Lahartara with Cantonment, besides Lamahi and Babatpur airport. Linking of Rajatalab, Pandeypur, Ashapur, Vishwasundari Bridge, Ring Road and Mughalsarai is also being considered.

The Kanpur Metro rail project is estimated to cost over Rs 14,000 crore. Sources said RITES has suggested two corridors of Kanpur Metro Rail. The first corridor, from IIT Kanpur to Naubasta, covers almost 24km. The second, of 8.6km length, will be from Agriculture University to Barra. A total of 22 Metro stations have been planned for IIT Kanpur to Naubasta corridor, while nine stations have been proposed for the Agriculture University to Barra corridor.

The agency has also suggested giving IIT-K a Metro link. The Kanpur Metro is proposed to run on standard gauge track. It is estimated to have a peak hour peak direction traffic of 16,800 passengers on the 23.79km long route from IIT Kanpur to Naubasta by 2021.

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