Lucknow Metro Rail project, one of the flagship projects of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, has started to gather steam with actual ground work starting this week.
Lucknow Metro is proposed in two North-South (NS) and East-West corridors. The proposed 23 km NS corridor, which would connect Lucknow airport to the city, is being undertaken in first phase and is estimated to cost over Rs 7,000 crore.
The work on boring earth for erecting pillars on the NS corridor started on October 27 in the presence of Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) managing director Kumar Keshav.
LMRC is targetting to complete this railroad section covering about 8 km between Transport Nagar and Charbagh railway station by December 2016. According to officials, about 40 pillars would be erected at a distance of 200 metres. Later, LMRC would conduct trial runs for metro before it is thrown open for public.
Since, assembly polls are due before May 2017, the ruling Samajwadi Party wants the metro project operations by then, so that it is showcased as a success story and epitomise its development agenda.
The project has been designed to cater the projected population in Lucknow in the next 25 years.
‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan is the principal advisor to the Lucknow Metro project. In the starting, a senior bureaucrat was appointed as the MD of the project. However, he made way to a technocrat MD for faster completion of the project.
The metro project had been hanging fire for the last several years. During the previous Mayawati regime, the project could not move beyond the route alignment stage over funding model to be adopted.
On March 3, Yadav had laid the foundation of Lucknow Metro depot near the airport. Earlier on June 27, 2013, the state government had given its formal nod to the proposed LMRC project.
Lucknow City has a population of about 4.5 million. There has been tremendous horizontal growth in the state capital with rapid development of suburban areas.
In such a dynamic scenario, a modern urban rapid rail transit system is imperative for a growing city like Lucknow to facilitate faster commuting and decongesting ever increasing road traffic.