The Uttar Pradesh government has made a budgetary provision of Rs 250 crore for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor of the Metro, which will get a total of Rs 500 crore for projects in Lucknow, Varanasi and Gorakhpur, among others. The Rs 250 crore for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor, under the Regional Rapid Transit project, is expected to boost metro connectivity till Meerut.
Under the total allocation for Metro services, Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for implementation of projects in Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Jhansi and Meerut and Rs 150 crore will be given for the Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC). Gorakhpur used to be the home constituency of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who is the head priest of the famous Gorakhnath temple there. Prime Minister Narendra Modi represents the Varanasi constituency in Lok Sabha. In addition, the LMRC will get Rs 1,600 crore as a loan from European Bank and Rs 250 crore as assistance from the Centre for the completion of its Charbagh-Munshipulia corridor.
Besides, an amount of Rs 300 crore has been proposed in the budget for providing new infrastructure facilities in all the city development authorities, including Lucknow. Metro train services are set to revolutionise transportation in Uttar Pradesh. The state government has already set up the UP Metro Rail Corporation to give a push to intra-city transport. In the state capital, metro services started last year. The 8.9 km-long Transport Nagar-Charbagh corridor is already functional, while work on the Charbagh-Munshipulia corridor is going on. The 23km-long Amausi airport-Munshipulia corridor is expected to be completed by December 2018 and become functional by January 2019.
Lucknow To Be Linked To 15 Divisional HQs
Under the regional connectivity scheme, the state government has allocated Rs 150 crore for the financial year 2018-19. The aim is to provide faster and alternative transport options to people, especially those living in remote places.
At present, the state capital is connected to cities like Jaipur, Indore, Dehradun and Varanasi. The UP government has now planned to connect Lucknow with 15 other divisional headquarters. Under this year’s budgetary allocation, attention will be paid to boosting airport infrastructure and facilities. This will include security, fire fighting services, operations, subsidised electricity supply, free water supply, ambulance and medical services and bus connectivity for nearby cities. The UP state road transport corporation (UPSRTC) will provide bus connectivity to different districts of a division from the airports concerned.
The regional connectivity scheme was launched under the Centre’s UDAN initiative. Under UDAN, a passenger has to pay only Rs 2,500 for an air journey lasting an hour or less, when the actual cost of such a journey is around Rs 4,500. The Centre pays Rs 1,600 as aid while the state government contributes Rs 400. The government also pays 50% of the amount if the passenger load is below 50%.
This scheme is expected to benefit the state’s industrial policy too, as better connectivity would attract higher investments.