Transport infrastructure is one of the most important factors for a country's progress. To keep this faster pace, for moving people, goods and services, metro rail projects are playing a crucial role not only as a transportation solution but as a means to transform cities.

In order to expand the footprint of metro network in India, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has received in-principle approval from the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance (MoF) for the phase IV of Delhi metro and metro rail projects in five cities of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Currently, metro network is operational in 10 cities and another 6 cities are under construction. After the sanction of 5 more cities, metro network will be expanded to 21 cities.

The 'in-principle' approval from the ministry is only the beginning of a series of clearances that have to be taken before a final go-ahead is granted. "These projects will now go to the finance ministry's Public Investment Board (PIB) for approval. After PIB clearance, the projects will go to the Union cabinet for further approval.

New Metro Lines

The urban rail projects in the following cities have been approved by the government:

New Delhi, Delhi – Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has envisaged 6 corridors measuring 104 km under Phase-IV of metro expansion in Delhi. The estimated cost of Phase-IV is around USD 9 billion (INR 526 billion). The corridors are Aerocity to Tughlaqabad, Janakpuri West to RK Ashram, Mukundpur to Maujpur, Rithala to Narela, Lajpat Nagar to Saket G block and Inderlok to Indraprastha. However, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) is not keen to participate in all corridors.

Indore, Madhya Pradesh – The proposed length of the Indore project is 104.25km and the estimated cost is INR 268 billion. The project will be implemented by Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Co. Limited.

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh – The proposed length of the Bhopal metro is 95.03 km and the estimated cost is INR 225 billion. The project will be implemented by Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Co. Limited.

Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh - The total length of the two corridors of the Kanpur metro rail project is 32.38km and the completion cost, excluding the land cost and state taxes, is INR 160 billion.

Agra, Uttar Pradesh –Metro network in Agra will have two corridors, total length of 30 km. The completion cost is estimated at INR 123 billion, excluding the land cost and state taxes.

Meerut, Uttar Pradesh – In addition to metro rail network, Regional Rapid Transport System (RRTS) is also being introduced to decongest Delhi & NCR. The first phase of RRTS consists of 3 corridors, covering a total length of about 380 kms. This transit system will connect Delhi with Sonepat, Alwar and Meerut. The ministry has also received in-principle approval for Delhi-Meerut section of the RRTS.

Metro Rail Network Expansion

Some of the existing network has also inaugurated the new lines in

A. DMRC commercial services on the 25.6 km Janakpuri West –  Kalkaji Mandir section of the new 38.235 km Magenta Line (Line-8) on 28 May 2018 and start commercial operations on 29 May 2018. Earlier, DMRC commenced operation on 12.64 km Botanical Garden – Kalkaji Mandir section of this line in December 2017.

B. DMRC added new section of 11.182 km elevated extension of 18.46 km Green Line (Line-5) between Mundka in Delhi and City Park in Bahadurgarh (Haryana). The new extension has a total of 7 stations of which four are in Delhi—Mundka Industrial Area, Ghevra, Tikri Kalan and Tikri Border, and three are in Haryana – Modern Industrial Estate (MIE), Bus Stand and City Park. Bahadurgarh is the third town in Haryana to have metro connectivity after Gurgaon and Faridabad.

Both corridors are part of Phase III of Delhi Metro Network. Currently, about 98.52 kms of 162.5 km Phase-III routes is operational and the entire network is about 289 km long with 206 stations.

C.  Chennai Metro commenced the operation on two key underground sections (Nehru Park to Chennai Central and Saidapet to AG-DMS)  of Phase 1 project (45 kms). Both sections with 6 new stations extend the metro’s reach deeper into the city’s historic core and add another 7.4 km of route length to make the system’s operational network length 35.3 km long.