New Delhi: The Centre has approved a plan for a metro service in the Prime Minister’s constituency of Varanasi – estimated to cost Rs 12,350 crore – by extending ‘provisions of the Metro Railways Act to the city . This follows a letter from the Akhilesh Yadav government to Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu last month asking for the official notification to be issued for metro rail projects in Varanasi and Kanpur because the state plans to commence construction in December.
The Centre, in consultation with the Uttar Pradesh government, has now extended the provisions of the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978, to the metropolitan areas of Varanasi and Kanpur, paving the way for construction to start as per the detailed project reports prepared.
“Ahead of the 2017 UP elections, the Varanasi metro could be a positive issue both for the Centre, given it is the PM’s constituency, as well as the Samajwadi Party, which could showcase its development projects by way of an operational metro in Lucknow by 2017 and work commencing in Varanasi and Kanpur. The Centre has wasted no time in approving the Varanasi project,” a top central government official told Media.
The UP government has alloted Rs 50 crore each for the project in Varanasi and Kanpur metros in the last budget. Kanpur’s MP is senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.