Increasing its efforts for ‘Ease of Living’, particularly in urban areas, the Modi government has announced a slew of measures to improve urban infrastructure and public transport services.
In her Budget speech today (1 February), Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government aims to raise the share of public transport in urban areas through expansion of metro rail networks and augmentation of city bus services.
FM announced a new scheme with Rs 18,000 crores to deploy innovative Public Private Partnership (PPP) models to enable private sector players to acquire, maintain and operate over 20,000 buses. The minister said that the scheme will boost the automobile sector, create employment opportunities and enhance ease of mobility for urban residents.
FM also announced the deployment of Metro Lite and Metro Neo to provide metro services at much less cost with the same experience, convenience and safety in Tier II cities and peripheral areas of Tier I cities.
The minister said that Central Counterpart Funding will be provided to Kochi Metro Railway phase 2 of 11 km at a cost of Rs 1,957 crore.
The FM further announced 118 km long Chennai Metro phase II at the cost of Rs 63,240 crore and Bangalore Metro Railway Phase 2 A and 2 B of 58 km at a cost of Rs 14,788 crore.
The government also announced central funding of Rs 5,976 crore for Nagpur metro phase II and Rs 2,092 crore for Nasik metro.
Currently a total of 702 kms of metro is operational and over 1,016 kms of metro lines are under construction in 27 cities across the country.
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