India greenlights $10.3bn of work on four urban rail systems

The government of India’s Public Investment Board has given the go-ahead for metro projects with a total value of $10.3bn in four cities, The Times of India reported this week.

The metros are located in the cities of Agra and Kanpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Patna in Bihar and the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS).

The government has made an initial allocation of $25m each to the 32km Agra system and 30km Kanpur schemes, and $56m to the Delhi-Meerut project, which is 82 km long and has 22 stations.

The new schemes will now be placed before the Indian cabinet for final approval.

The final costs of the projects are expected to be $1.8bn for Patna, $1.6bn for Agra and $2.4bn for Kanpur. The highest price tag of $4.5bn is attached to Delhi-Meerut, one of the three high-speed corridors planned.

Work on the 60km Patna metro was approved on a public-private partnership basis in 2011, and has been given the green light on a number of occasions since, without work actually going ahead. The Hindustan Times reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to lay the foundation stone for it by the end of this month.

Chaitanya Prasad, principal secretary of urban development department at the state of Bihar, who was present at the PIB meeting in Delhi this week, commented: "Everything is in place and all queries regarding the project have been replied with technical details. We hope the proposal will have no difficulty in getting through the Union cabinet."

Image: The Delhi metro. There are presently 11 metro systems in 10 Indian cities (Fly2Blue/CC0)

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