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Jaipur's metro dream coming true

Special Correspondent

“Jaipur Metro will run by July 2013; it will be more advanced than Delhi Metro”



Delhi Metro Rail Corporation chairmanE. Sreedharan and Rajasthan Chief MinisterAshok Gehlot at the signing of the MoU betweenDMRC and Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation in Jaipur on Thursday.

JAIPUR: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation chairman E. Sreedharan has predicted all-round benefits to the Pink City from its proposed metro rail. The first phase of the Rs.9,100-crore project, for which an MoU was signed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the newly formed Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC) here on Thursday, is expected to be ready by July 2013.

“The metro, once in operation, will bring to the City and the State of Rajasthan tremendous benefits,” Dr. Sreedharan said interacting with media persons after the signing of the MoU.

DMRC director Mangu Singh and JMRC chairman G. S. Sandhu inked the document marking the start of the first phase of the project which is estimated to cost Rs.1,250 crore for the first 9.25 km. Both Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Dr. Sreedharan hailed the occasion as “momentous”.

“It is the dream of metro coming true,” a visibly happy Mr. Gehlot said talking to journalists. He thanked Dr. Sreedharan for his efforts. “It all started with one statement from Sreedharan Saheb during a lecture here that ‘metro is possible also in Jaipur'. He took a lot of interest in this project and we are thankful to him,” Mr. Gehlot said. “DMRC did the studies for all the metro projects but no other city has been able to process the proposal so fast,” Dr. Sreedharan said, pointing out that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) was submitted in November last year. “Bangalore took 2.5 to 3 years to start,” he said citing one example. “I promise that Jaipur Metro will run by July 2013. It will be much more advanced than Delhi Metro,” he said responding to a query.

Asked about the economic viability of the proposed metro when even Delhi Metro is not yet viable, Dr. Sreedharan quipped: “Metro projects are never financially viable. However, it is a social responsibility of the governments as the social benefits from metros are very high. What we invest in them comes back in various forms….Delhi Metro is not profitable but it is not a burden. As for the Jaipur Metro, we are confident that it will not become a burden on Jaipur City.”

“We analysed the benefits. Every commuter in Delhi is saving 33 minutes daily travelling by the metro. Three hundred lives have been saved from fatal accidents since the introduction of the metro there,” Dr. Sreedharan informed. “You cannot exactly convert the benefits into money,” he noted. As it was in the case of Delhi one lakh vehicles would be off the roads once the metro starts functioning here, he said.

The State Govt will provide Rs.600 crore for the project while Rs.300 crore would be mobilized by the JMRC. The JDA has committed Rs.300 crore while the Rajasthan Housing Board and the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation 100 crore each.

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