New Metro Policy To Focus On Land Issues, Revenue Generation
The way India travels is changing fast, all thanks to heavy investments in the Metro networks. Currently, the span of operational Metro networks in India is 425 kilometre (km). Another 700-km network across 13 cities is in various stages of construction. The government expects 600 km of operational Metro network by the end of this year.
Since the way Metro systems are built, operated and maintained is also changing with time —Kolkata was the first city to have the Metro where operations started in 1984 —the Centre is going to replace the existing two laws that regulate mass transport network.
Urban Affairs Secretary DS Mishra recently said that final shape was being given to a proposed new law.
"The two existing laws related to operation and maintenance and construction have become very old … they were formulated when the scenario was completely different. Now the situation has changed. And, the new law would seek to address all the issues faced by metro networks," Mishra was quoted by PTI as saying.
The two legislation governing India’s Metro networks are The Metro Railway (Construction of Works) Bill, 1978, and The Metro Railway (Operations and Maintenance) Act, 2002. While the first law, specifically meant for the city of Kolkata, was amended in 2009, the other law, which was earlier named the Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002, was rechristened.
With new challenges such as land acquisition had cropped up and newer models like the use of private help had evolved, a new law was needed to replace the existing laws to "create an ecosystem that will further the growth story of the Metros", said Mishra.
According to Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha revenues from passengers segment will always be a challenge, so Metros should "look at other innovative ways whereby they can raise revenues and make it self-sustaining ventures".
With inputs from Housing News