Their dream of having their own swanky transport is closer to becoming a reality with the Urban Development Ministry recently green-signaling the construction of a Rs 8,200-crore metro project in the orange city in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra will thus become the first State to have two cities with metros, Mumbai being the other.
Sources in the Ministry told The Pioneer that the Delhi Metro Rail Cooperation (DMRC) has been asked to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the metro in Nagpur within the next six months. To expedite the process, the Central Ministry has already allocated Rs 2.4 crore to the State Government for executing the DPR work. The State Government had submitted the project proposal in February.
Of the two phases of the Nagpur project, the first would pass from Sitabuldi to Mihan via airport while the second would be from Sitabuldi to Automotive Square in Kamptee. The 25-km first phase is estimated to incur an expenditure of Rs 4,400 crore while the second one of 20km would require Rs 3,800 crore, the sources added.
The sources said the financial mechanism for the Nagpur project is yet to be decided. Whether it would be on public-private partnership mode or on an equity-sharing basis between the State and the Centre would be decided later.
Presently, Delhi, Karnataka and Kolkata are the three States where metro rail is being operated successfully. Mumbai is in various phases of construction of the project. It has taken up metro projects — Line 1 (11.07 km), Line 2 (31.87 km) — on PPP model at an estimated cost of Rs 10,016 crore. For Line 3 (20.4 km Colaba-Mahim/Bandra corridor), which will cost about Rs 12,015 crore, it has opted for the DMRC model, to be funded by both the Centre and the State.
“Nagpur metro proposal has been given go-ahead as it meets the criteria of having a population of 20 lakh to ensure the viability of the project,” sources said.
Following the success of Delhi metro and the relaxation of norms for population cut-off to 20 lakh recently by the Urban Development Ministry, cities are making a beeline for owning the rapid mode of transport for intra-city travel. Ministry sources said the proposal for Metro in Tier-II cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Patna, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Indore, Kochi, Coimbatore, Kozhikode are also being seriously considered.