01 Nov 2020
Maharashtra Government clears broad gauge metro project
The Maharashtra Cabinet has cleared the Rs.3,336 million broad- gauge (BG) metro proposal of Maha Metro, the state’s metro rail project company. It will now be sent to the Central Government for its approval. The project aims to provide high-speed connectivity to satellite towns around Nagpur, such as—Narkhed, Wardha, Bhandara and Ramtek.
Once implemented, metro coaches would run on Indian Railways’ track—the first ever such service to be introduced in India. Hailed as one of the most ambitious projects proposed by Maha Metro, it is expected to change the transportation pattern in Nagpur and neighbouring areas. It will utilise the existing infrastructure of Indian Railways by providing air-conditioned, faster, reliable and comfortable services between Nagpur and the four satellite towns.
In July 2018, an MoU was signed between Indian Railways and Maha Metro to link the railway line to metro coaches on the BG network and create a mass rapid transit system (MRTS) in Nagpur city.
This facility is expected to act as feeder service to the Nagpur Metro and will help increase its present ridership. It will also reduce dependency on private vehicles and transportation services and traffic congestion, further reducing accidents and pollution. The total distance covered by the project, involving all the four routes, is 265-km.
The Maha Metro trains will run at a speed of 120 kmph. The coaches will be equipped with all comforts for the commuters between the four locations. Initially, four trains will be put to service to connect the four locations. The number will be subsequently increased to eight after a certain period of time.
KFW, the international funding agency, that had also funded Maha Metro’s Phase 1, has agreed to finance the BG metro project to the tune of Rs.3,052 million of the total project cost of Rs.3,336 million.
Of the remaining amount, the Maharashtra government would also provide 50 per cent of the strategic debt (SD) of the Government of India (Rs.71 million) and 100 per cent (Rs.142 million) of the SD incurred by the state. Thus, collectively, an amount of `213 million would be sanctioned by the state government and the rest will be borne by the Centre.