'Metro Lite' and 'Metro Neo' To Boost Urban Infrastructure In Tier-2 Cities
Budget 2021: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Budget in the Lok Sabha today and said that in order to give a thrust to the national infrastructure pipeline (NIP), the government is proposing to create institutional structures, monetizing assets, and increasing the share of capital expenditure in central and the state budget. Ms Sitharaman proposed a sharp increase in capital expenditure at Rs 5.54 lakh crores, which is a 34 per cent on-year increase in infrastructure capex for next fiscal. The Finance Minister added that in order to boost urban infrastructure, MetroLite and Metro New technologies will be deployed to provide metro rail systems in tier two cities and the peripheral areas of tier-one cities, at much lesser costs.
Apart from these, Budget 2021 also said that central counterpart funding will be provided to Kochi Metro Phase-II of 11.5 km at a cost of Rs 1957.05 crores, Chennai Metro Railway Phase-II of 118.9 km at a cost of Rs 63,246 crores, Bengaluru Metro Railway Project Phase 2A and 2B of 58.19 km at a cost of Rs 14,788 crores, as well as, Nagpur Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Nashik Metro at costs of Rs 5,976 crores and Rs 2,092 crores respectively.
The Finance Minister added that the government will raise the share of public transport in urban areas through the expansion of the metro rail network and the city bus service will be strengthened. A new scheme will be launched at a cost of Rs 18,000 crores to support the expansion of public bus transport services.
The scheme is said to facilitate the deployment of innovative public-private partnership (PPP) models to allow private sector players to finance, acquire, operate and maintain over 20,000 buses. A total of 702 km of the conventional metro is operational and another 1,016 km of metro and the regional rapid transit system (RRTS) is under construction in 27 cities.