Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri today said the new metro rail policy announced by the Centre, making PPP mandatory to get financial aid for new projects, seeks to enable realisation of growing metro rail aspirations of a large number of cities in a responsible manner.
The investments for metro rail projects through PPP was made 'compulsory' to meet the demand for capital intensive assets like metro, he said.
The Housing and Urban Affairs Minister stated this after flagging off the metro rail service from Nehru Park to Central Metro and Little Mount to AG-DMS, here, together with Chief Minister K Palaniswami.
"The policy seeks to enable realisation of growing metro rail aspirations of a large number of cities in a responsible manner," he said.
The Union government had on May 23 approved a new metro rail policy for expanding the network across various cities.
"If the cities are the engines of economic growth, the public transport system functions as the wheels of the engine", he said, adding a good and efficient transport system in cities is essential for development.
Puri said the unveiling of metro rail service in various cities showed that the Centre and State governments could together take urban transport systems to new heights.
"We are going to have metro services in major metropolitan towns, providing first class world class services which our commuters so badly need", he said.
Phase I and Phase I extension of MetroRail service covers a total of 45 km, of which 28.5 km is already operational.
"Today another 6.8 km has been launched and we are hoping that Phase I extension will provide reliable, convenient and affordable mode of transport to people of Chennai", he said.
Puri also thanked the Japanese government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for offering financial assistance to the metro rail project.
Palaniswami, in his address, requested the Centre to give early approval and sanction the Union government's share of funds for Phase-II of the project.
The government has estimated that Phase II,covering three new routes across 107.55 km, for which it had given in principle approval, would cost about Rs 79,961 crore.
This huge investment would not only boost the economy of Chennai, but also create several jobs, he said.
Palaniswami said JICA came forward to fund the 52.01 km route (of 107.55 km) and construction would begin once the funds were received.
With completion of Phase I and II metro rail projects, the city would have world class infrastructure, he said.
Palaniswami said a feasibility study would be done to extend metro rail service from Chennai airport to Kilambakkam village on the outskirts of the city, where a second moffussil bus terminus is planned.
The present one is at Koyambedu in the city.
The Chief Minister also recalled his earlier announcement in the Assembly that Chennai Metro Rail Ltd is compiling a project report to set up a service in Coimbatore, to be funded by German development bank KFW.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)