Transfer of govt land for metro made easier

August 14, 2013



PUNE: The Central government has approved a proposal to facilitate smooth transfer of government land for speedy execution of metro projects across the country.State urban development department officials said the decision means that metro projects in cities like Pune could be extended to fringes in the future and seek government land for the same. “The process to get government land was technical and required many clearances. Now, if the state government and the local governing body want government land for metro project, the Centre will approve the same without any delay,” said a state UDD official.

According to the proposal, metro companies formed by the state and local governing bodies will be treated under rules that are applied in the case of Central Public Sector Undertakings (PSU). This will allow transfer/ alienation of land including defence land to metro rail companies having 50:50 partnership with the government of India and the state government concerned, on the same pattern and terms and conditions as applicable to PSUs / statutory bodies.


As per this decision, ongoing and future metro rail projects will be facilitated to get completed within the approved cost and time with subsequent project benefits to the people.


“The state cabinet, in June 2012, gave its nod to the Pune metro project, approving the 14.925-km elevated route from Vanaz to Ramwadi. The cabinet also decided to form the Pune Metro Rail Corporation (PMRC) for the implementation of the metro project. The government decision on land will definitely benefit the city as there are plans to extend the metro in Pune Metropolitan Region,” said the UDD official.


However, land acquisition, which has often stalled several projects including the Bus Rapid Transit System in Pune, will not be a problem for the 14.925-km elevated route of the Pune metro rail project from Vanaz to Ramwadi.


About 18.44 hectares land is required for 15 elevated stations and a depot in Kothrud.


Of the total land requirement, 14 hectare belongs to the government and the PMC and four hectare is held by private owners. The 14.925 km stretch is planned on roads that are 30m wide and hence no more land acquisition is necessary to construct this metro route.





Delhi: Cars, cars everywhere, just no place to park

August 14, 2013

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi,

Water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink: Samuel Taylor Coleridge had famously written in his poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Were he to write on Delhi’s parking problems, he would have probably started: Cars, cars everywhere, just no place to park.

True, the growing number of cars and finding a place to park them is one of Delhi’s biggest urban nightmares. It has also led to a host of other problems — traffic congestion, encroachments, no walking place, quarrels, road rages and even murders.

Sample this: Parking has consumed nearly 10% of the city’s urban land and green and open spaces. In stark contrast, the share of the capital’s forest cover is just 11%.

And it’s just not about a chaotic present. Worse is in store in the future. The constant addition of cars — 1.6 lakh are registered in a year — means Delhi needs an area as big as 310 football fields to accommodate them every year, studies at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) have shown.

From 39.40 lakh vehicles in 2002-03, the number has risen to 74.38 lakh in 2011-12, an 88% increase. All this for cars that remain parked for 90% of the time, meeting only 14% of Delhi’s travel needs.
















“It is physically impossible to find parking space in Delhi. As the number of cars in Delhi grows, the space available for people gets squeezed, and the human living environment gets overrun. Cars are like an invasive species that out-competes people for space,” global parking expert Mark Gorton told HT.

The urban sprawl of Delhi has forced more and more people to use cars. This has led to the creation of a massive car-centric infrastructure. “Flyovers, signal-free corridors and overbridges obstruct and destroy movement patterns needed to promote walking, cycling and public transport. Even more people are forced to use cars…the vicious cycle continues,” said CSE’s expert Anumita Roychowdhury.

About 1% of Delhi’s population of 17 million lives in Lutyens’ Delhi. This has pushed growth to the periphery and increased dependency on cars.

Innovations such as multi-level parking have failed to provide any relief because of the long cruising time and lower charges in surface lots.

“I don’t use multi-level lots because of the time factor,” said Nishant, 20, of Paschim Vihar.

Lack of adequate parking space also leads to all kinds of crimes. Last year, parking caused 27 cases of violence. 15 murders over parking have been reported in the last five years.

Till July 31 this year, a murder and a robbery, besides five cases of molestation, two rapes and 203 thefts have been reported at parking lots.

Markets crammed with vehicles lead to space crunch and overcharging in parking lots — often double the normal rate. A nexus among contractors, officials and corporators ensures the practice goes on.

In residential areas, service lanes of colonies are packed with vehicles and this leads to frequent fights. Residents suffer as emergency vehicles such as those of police and fire services often get stuck.

Parking in residential areas does not cost a rupee. The absence of a parking policy due to lack of political will only add to the woes.

Then, there is no barrier-free walking, no cycle tracks and no playgrounds. Shops have poor visibility and people have a bad shopping experience. Green belts and footpaths have been encroached upon.

“The corporation is planning to convert some parks in Kalkaji into driveways. This is absurd,” said DS Mann Kalkaji F Block RWA.

“When I lived in Munirka, a neighbour had four cars and one fine day, he cut down a huge, old tree because he needed more parking space,” said Smita, 35, a resident of Mayur Vihar phase-1.



Metro likely to get Rs 630 crore aid from Centre

August 14, 2013


JAIPUR: The Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC), which aims to replicate the Delhi Metro magic in Pink City, is expected to receive financial support from the Union government. In a public investment board meeting chaired by the Union finance secretary R S Gujral, a recommendation to allocate Rs 630 crore for the Jaipur Metro, Phase -I was made on Tuesday. The final approval to the proposal will be given in the Union cabinet meeting.


An official explained that JMRC is seeking financial help from the Central government for the Jaipur Metro corridor-I (Mansarovar to Badi Chaupar), in the form of equity. “Out of the total amount, the government of India will give Rs 472.5 crore as equity and Rs 157.5 crore as loan,” the official said. As part of the joint venture, the Centre is expected to provide approximately 20% financial assistance in the form of equity for the entire project.


The announcement in the meeting was a big relief for the JMRC senior officials as the state government was not in a position to fund the entire project from its own pocket, according to sources.


Initially, when the project was conceived, stage-I was estimated at Rs 1,250 crore with the state government taking up just the civil work. The rolling stock and the construction of Metro from Chandpole to Badi Chaupar was planned to be taken up on public and private partnership. But later the state government decided to fund even these two on its own increasing the project cost to Rs 3,149 crore.


Apart from receiving funds from the Central government, the JMRC will also take Rs 969 crore loan from Asian Development Bank.


The loan will be used to fund development of the underground Metro corridor between Chandpole and Badi Chaupar. According to the Metro officials, the loan process is in the final stages and ADB and JMRC are expected to sign an agreement next month.


The senior urban development and housing (UDH) and JMRC officials in the meeting also said that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is all set to conduct the trial run of Jaipur Metro train from Mansarovar to Vivek Vihar station by next month. The trial run will be held on elevated tracks by rakes (trains having four coaches) recently purchased from Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML).




BMTC’s hopes ride on JNNURM funding

July 29, 2013


The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), which is going through rough times, is hopeful of strengthening its fleet with funding under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) transition phase 2013–14.

It also wants to create substantial infrastructure to meet the growing transportation needs of Bangalore by constructing bus depots, workshops and bus stations, with central assistance.

The BMTC has submitted a proposal of Rs. 1,046 crore to the Union Ministry of Urban Development seeking funds under the JNNURM. While many corporations are yet to prepare proposals, the BMTC is ahead of its counterparts and is hopeful of getting the funding early.

The proposal includes procuring 2,150 buses and creating infrastructure to expand the BMTC’s reach, according to P. Ravi Kumar, Principal Secretary, Transport Department.

Mr. Kumar told The Hindu that for tier-1 cities, the Centre would bear 35 per cent of the project cost while the State government would bear 15 per cent; the rest would be borne by the BMTC.

BMTC Managing Director Anjum Parvez told The Hindu that 550 air-conditioned buses, including articulated ones, are proposed to be procured under the funding. These buses would be operated on busy corridors, including Whitefield Road and Hosur Road.

Mr. Parvez said the BMTC proposes to construct 15 depots, two divisional workshops and 14 commuter amenity centres, which will be smaller to the present travel and transit management centres (TTMCs), under funding from the JNNURM. With the exponential growth of the BMTC, the two existing central workshops, one at Shanthinagar and the other at K.R. Puram, were found to be too inadequate to undertake proper maintenance of buses, he said.

With mounting operation costs due to frequent hike in diesel prices and with the BMTC having incurred a Rs. 147-crore loss in 2012–13, the funding is likely to offer a breather.


‘Smart cities under JNNURM-II’

July 29, 2013


Press Trust of India : Sun Dec 16 2012,

India’s new cities may soon boast of several smart features like IT-enabled transport and carbon neutral status.

“Under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission Phase-II, every state will have at least one smart city,” urban development minister Kamal Nath said at FICCI’s 85th AGM.

He said the new cities, particularly those with population of half a million to one million, will have a host of IT-enabled services, like transport and other utilities.

Nath also mooted creation of a special municipal cadre to ensure that local bodies have dedicated staff to carry out plans specific to the urban areas.

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JNNURM-II to be thrice in size than earlier avatar

July 29, 2013


Dipak Kumar Dash, TNN Jun 16, 2013


NEW DELHI: The second phase of the UPA’s flagship programme for urban infrastructure development, JNNURM, would be thrice the size of the last phase. The proposed JNNURM-II, which would be for 10 years including the current fiscal, would be pegged at Rs 1.5 lakh crore, sources in the urban development ministry said.

In a move that would may silence the chief ministers, who have been complaining of discrimination by the Centre in allocation of funds to non-UPA-ruled states, the programme’s second phase would have a greater say for the state governments in both planning and selection of projects. They would have more freedom in choosing cities, cluster of cities and urban growth centres to avail the Central assistance. Sources added that the governments would also submit their comprehensive plan of urbanization in the state.

For the current financial year, Rs 15,000 crore budgetary allocations have been made as a stop-gap arrangement to ensure that the ongoing projects don’t stop midway. JNNURM-II is likely to be launched after the next parliamentary election results are out.

“But the government wants to clear the process so that the programme continues no matter what the result would be. The criteria of selection and fund allocation are yet to be finalized,” said a ministry official. There are reports that performance of states in the first phase of JNNURM could be one of the qualifying norms for selection.

In addition, JNNURM-II’s ambit would be extended to smaller cities and towns. Last year UD minister Kamal Nath had also stated this in Parliament. “Nobody has given attention to town and cities with population of 10,000 to 50,000,” he said replying to the debate on demand for grants for 2012-13.

In the first phase of the mission, the cities with a population of one million or more were included, he said, adding, in the second, the government is planning to include cities with a population five lakh and above.


Source -

UD ministry looking into panel report on Airport Metro line

April 29, 2013

By PTI | 24 Apr, 2013, 09.10PM IST
NEW DELHI: The Urban Development Ministry has begun looking into the report of the two-member inquiry committee appointed to ascertain the causes of closure of the Airport Metro line.
Sources said the committee consisting of Additional Secretary D Diptivilasa and then Additional Member (Works) in the Railway Board A K Gupta presented its findings in a 103- page report along with 119 pages of annexures to Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna from where it has been sent to Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath’s office.

Sources said the committee has found certain lapses on the part of different stakeholders including officials of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), a consultant and one of the contractors associated with the project besides the concessionaire which was operating the line.

“The committee has submitted its report and all I can say at this moment is that presently it is under examination in the ministry,” Krishna said when asked.

The Delhi Airport Metro Private Limited had to stop operations of the line on July 8, 2012 following serous defects which could even have endangered passenger safety.


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