Chief Minister Kicks Off Bhopal Metro Rail Project, Lays Foundation Stone
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on September 26, 2019, laid the foundation stone of the Bhopal Metro rail project. Under the project, which is estimated to cost the government over Rs 6,941 crores, 28 stations would be built across the city to provide it with a mass rapid transit system. Phase-I of the project is likely to be complete by December 2022.
Earlier on September 14, 2019, the chief minister had laid the foundation stone for a metro rail project in Indore. The project is expected to be completed by August 2023.
The centre had given the approval for building the networks in Bhopal and Indore on October 3, 2018. To be built at an estimated cost of Rs 14,000 crores, the twin Metro projects will be ready in the next four years.
While the expenditure would be funded by the central as well as the state government, it will also have a public-private-partnership fund component. Banks, including the Asian Development Bank and the New Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, will be providing loans for the projects.
For Indore, the project will be a ring line with 30 stations, starting from Bengali Square, passing through Vijay Nagar, Bhawarshala, Airport Road and Palacia. The Rs 7,500-crore corridor will offer connectivity to the city’s railway station, the airport and the bus terminus. While the cabinet has given nod just one route, there are five other routes which are being considered. These routes, once approved, would connect to the city’s special economic zones, including Pithampur, also known as Detroit of Madhya Pradesh.
For Bhopal, the Centre has approved two corridors — Karond Circle to AIIMS and Bhadbhada Square to Ratnagiri Square. The two corridors, running a total of 27 km, will be constructed at a cost of Rs 6,900 crore, and will pass through the city centre. These will also provide connectivity to the city’s railway station and bus depot. There are four other routes that are in a planning stage and would connect the suburban towns with prime areas of Bhopal.
While these infrastructure projects intent to promote sustainable transportation in megacities, the cabinet approval has come just in time when the state is gearing up for assembly elections.