Nagpur: As Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited races against time to complete the project within targeted limit of January 26. 2018, the company may face more challenges ahead. This has been hinted by the Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday. He said the Nagpur metro rail network must be expanded till Butibori, Hingna and Kanhan to make it more viable.
Gadkari said the project may not be viable unless expanded, however he added that if the metrino experiment in Delhi was successful, then this system would be used for expansion instead of the metro rail. The cost of metrino is Rs 50 crore per km whereas the metro costs Rs 300 crore per km.
Addressing the PT Mase memorial lecture organized by Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (ACCE) at Scientific Hall, Gadkari said “When work on the London Street stretch is undertaken we will try to extend it to Ambazari Ordnance Factory. However, this will need a lot of money. The metro is being constructed in a way that it will save around Rs2,000 crore and this will help,” he added.
The minister further said that he had given Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL) a target to complete the project by January 26, 2018. “I have asked the officials to do the trial run from Mihan depot to Airport station in December. This is an ambitious target but I am sure they will meet it. NHAI is completing the Delhi bypass road in 400 days so this too should be possible,” he added.
Gadkari said that there was need to make the stretch from RBI Square to Mecosabagh underground. “Otherwise this will create a lot of congestion on Kamptee Road. NMRCL is considering this proposal,” he added.
The minister also said that the government was trying to persuade manufacturers to start a rolling stock (engines and wagons) factory in the state. “This will bring down the cost of state’s metros,” he added.
According to the minister, there was an urgent need to integrate rail, road and air transport in the city. “We will develop busports near the main railway station to integrate road and rail transport. The Madhya Pradesh bus stand is near the station. There is space on Santra Market side too. Busports exist in Ahmedabad, Surat and Baroda. They have commercial spaces, hotels, malls integrated into the bus station. The busport and railway station will be connected to the airport by the metro,” he said.
Seaplanes to take off
Gadkari reiterated his plans to start seaplanes from Ambazari and Futala lakes. “People can go from Nagpur to Shirdi and Shegaon by seaplane and come back in four days after having darshan. Tourists can go to Karmazari, Tadoba, Navegaon and other national parks by seaplane. I am bringing in a new act to designate seaplanes as floating boats so that they don’t come under the purview of civil aviation ministry,” he said.