Public transport system in urban areas got a major boost in the Budget for the year 2021-22, tabled in the Parliament yesterday on 1st February 2021 by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs. Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
She said that the Government would work towards raising the share of public transport in urban areas through expansion of metro rail network and augment of city bus service. A new scheme will be launched at a cost of `18,000 crore to support augmentation of public bus transport services. It will facilitate deployment of innovative PPP models to enable private sector players to finance, acquire, operate and maintain over 20,000 buses. The scheme will boost the automobile sector, provide fillip to economic growth, create employment opportunities for the youth and enhance ease of mobility for urban residents.
It may be noted that Metro train services are expanding all across the country at a rapid pace. A total of 702 km of conventional metro is operational and another 1,016 km of metro and RRTS is under construction in 27 cities. While presenting the Budget, the Minister said that Government plans to deploy two new technologies i.e. ‘MetroLite’ and ‘MetroNeo’ to provide metro rail systems at much lesser cost with same experience, convenience and safety in Tier-2 cities and peripheral areas of Tier-1 cities.
Budget proposed Central counterpart funding to:
- Kochi Metro Railway Phase-II of 11.5 km at a cost of `1957.05 crore.
- Chennai Metro Railway Phase –II of 118.9 km at a cost of `63,246 crore.
- Bengaluru Metro Railway Project Phase 2A and 2B of 58.19 km at a cost of `14,788 crore.
- Nagpur Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Nashik Metro at a cost of `5,976 crore and `2,092 crore respectively.