Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said that keeping in view the growing popularity of and demand for Metro Rail services, the government is considering reducing the population norm for financing Metro projects.
Naidu was speaking about the need for ‘smart infrastructure’ in urban areas after dedicating to the Nation the 500MWP solar power plant of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Aug 11, 2014. Minister of Power, Coal and New and Renewal Energy Piyush Goyal was also present on the occasion.
The solar power plant, meant to meet part power needs of Dwarka Sector-21 Metro Station, was switched on remotely using web link at Metro Bhawan.
Naidu further said that the National Urban Transport Policy, 2006 is under review keeping in view the imperative need for improving public transport services in urban areas in the context of growing urbanisation and attendant challenges. He said at present, the central government is financing Metro projects in towns/cities with a population of 20 lakh and above and this norm is proposed to be reduced to 10 lakh.
Underlining the need for ensuring ‘energy security’ of the country through reduced dependence on oil imports, both ministers referred to the need to scale up speedily renewable energy use through promotion of appropriate technologies based on Prime Minister’s dictum of ‘Speed, Scale and Skill’.
The ministers unveiled DMRC’s Solar Power Policy, which seeks to reach a level of renewable energy use of 20MW in the next three years. Goyal said that keeping in view the need and ability of DMRC, this goal will be reached in one year.
Naidu, who travelled by Airport Metro Rail line, complimented DMRC for increasing the ridership on this line by over 30 percent per month besides reducing operational losses since it took over the line in July 2013. He said he has been regularly using this line as it affords ‘no stress, no tension’ travel.