The operation of the Agra Metro Rail Project, proposed to be started by November 2021, is likely to be delayed. It has been 10 months since the approval was given by the Union Cabinet, but the construction is yet to start as The Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) lacks the required clearances to carry out the construction works in the city.
Besides the fact that the Supreme Court, so far, has not permitted cutting of trees, the project is not yet approved by the Taj Trapezium Zone Authority (TTZ), forest department, Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and some other departments. The 6km-long priority corridor of the metro rail project extends from Taj East Gate to Jama Masjid.
A senior official of the Agra Development Authority (ADA) said, “The required land for developing Agra metro rail infrastructure has been identified. It will take at least three more months to start the construction work. UPMRC is trying to get approval of the apex court and other agencies for time-bound implementation of the project.”
On February 28, 2019, the Union Cabinet approved the Agra metro rail project, which is estimated to cost Rs 8,379.62 crore. A total of 27 stations are planned to be developed along 29.4 km of the rail corridor in the city.
According to the detailed project report (DRP) approved by the Union Cabinet, the Agra Metro Rail Project will have two corridors which will pass through the heart of the city and will connect prominent tourist places, including the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Sikandara as well as ISBT, Raja Ki Mandi railway station, medical college, Agra Cantt railway station, Collectorate, Sanjay Place and densely populated residential areas.
The length of Sikandara to Taj East Gate corridor is proposed to be 14 km which is partly elevated and partly underground. This corridor would comprise 13 stations (six elevated and seven underground). The length of the second corridor from Agra Cantt to Kalindi Vihar would be 15.4 km comprising 14 stations (all elevated).
The metro rail will cover 1km in two minutes. The distance between Sikandra and Taj East gate will be covered in 28 minutes and distance between Agra Cantt to Kalindi Vihar will be covered in 32 minutes. About 20 lakh population of the city is expected to benefit from the metro rail project.