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Metro work to begin in Bhopal, Indore from next fiscal

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan sanctioned Rs 14,500 cr for the first phase of light metro rail project in Bhopal and Indore cities during a cabinet meet recently.

Work on the metro rail project will commence from fiscal year 2017-18 and the first phase will be completed in four years, reported….. “Work on the metro rail project will commence from fiscal year 2017-18 and the first phase will be completed in four years. Budget allocation has already been made,” said minister for water resources and state government spokesman Narottam Mishra.

“Budget allocation has already been made,” he added. Construction, during the first phase, will be carried out from Karond to AIIMS, a 14.99 km stretch, and from Bhadbhada to Ratnagiri, a 12.88 km stretch, in Bhopal. In Indore, construction under first phase will be on the 31.55 km tract between Rajwada and Nanod. “Metro rail project will be financed 20% by the Centre and 20% by the state government,” he said.

“Rest 60% will be funded by various agencies.” He, however, could not divulge details of the agencies that would finance the project but claimed there are three possible options under consideration.

The light metro rail project, especially of Indore, came under severe criticism in September from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s own national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, the leader who has been mayor of Indore in the past, tweeted against the state government’s delay in implementation of the metro rail project. Vijayvargiya had tweeted,

“We promised to give residents of Indore the metro rail, but the speed of the state government is such that it is not the metro but bullock cart coming to the city.”

The tweet went viral and the BJP leader later retracted the same and changed his statement passing the buck for the delay in implementation to bureaucrats.

On being asked about Vijayvargiya’s tweeted and whether it has any bearing on the state government’s financial approval for the project, Mishra contended: “There has been no delay in the project.” “I can say that metro rail project implementation has direct relevance with the population of a city. Metro rail is brought for transport facility in a densely populated city.

Taking population into consideration, we are still five years ahead in implementation.” Claiming that in Jaipur, the metro rail was running with empty coaches because there weren’t enough population to transmit, Mishra said: “We are running on time with the project.”

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