The Maharashtra Cabinet, today, cleared the Broad Gauge (BG) Metro proposal of Maha Metro. The ₹ 333.60 Crore project aims at providing high-speed connectivity to satellite towns around Nagpur – Narkhed, Wardha, Bhandara and Ramtek. With the state cabinet clearing the proposal, it would now be send to Central Government for its approval. Once implemented, Metro coaches would run on Indian Railways’ track.
One of the most ambitious project proposed by Maha Metro, which would change the transportation pattern in Nagpur and surroundings, the proposal aims at utilising existing infrastructure of Indian Railways by providing air conditioned, faster, reliable and comfortable services between Nagpur and the four satellite towns mentioned above. This is the first ever such service to be introduced in the country.
*High Quality Service:* This would also act as feeder service to Nagpur Metro, thereby reducing dependency on private vehicles and transportation services. Simultaneously this would reduce existing traffic congestion on the roads, subsequently accidenbts and pollution. The total distance covered by the project, involving all the four routes, is 265 km.
*MoU Signing in July 2018:* It may be recalled that the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian Railways, Government of Maharashtra and Maha Metro was held on 16th July 2018. The then Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadanvis, Union Ministers Shri Nitin Gadkari and Shri Piyush Goyal were present during the MoU signing ceremony.
*Maha Metro Thanks State Government, Railways:* The Indian Railways played a major role in taking the proposal forward. Maha Metro thanks Indian Railways and Government of Maharashtra, for their whole-hearted support for the BG Metro project.
*To Reduce Travel Time:* The journey to Wardha, for example, requires 2.25 hours’ time from Nagpur. As compared to this the proposed service would require just 1.10 hours’ time. Thus, the introduction of new service would not only save time, but also add to the comfort levels of the commuters and prevent accident, especially in respect of those who prefer to travel by road.
*Train Speed to be 120 KMPH:* The Maha Metro trains would cruise at a speed of 120 KMPH. Most modern coaches with all the comforts would provide transportation to the commuters between the four locations. Initially four trains would be put to service to connect the four locations. The number would be gradually and subsequently increased to eight after a certain period of time.
*KFW Ready to Finance Project:* The BG Metro facility would act as Feeder Service to Nagpur Metro services, and would help in increasing its present ridership. The international funding agency – KfW – which has funded Maha Metro’s Phase I project, has agreed to finance BG Metro project to the tune of ₹ 305.20 crore of the total project cost of ₹ 333.60 Crore.
Of the balance, the Maharashtra Government would also provide 50 % of the Strategic Debt (SD) of the Government of India (₹ 7.10 crore) and 100 % (₹ 14.20 crore) of SD incurred by state government. Thus collectively, an amount of ₹ 21.30 crore would be sanctioned by the state government. Rest will be borne by the Central Government.
The service once introduced would change the way people travel around Nagpur. This would also revolutionise the transportation concept in not just Nagpur, but across the country as a pioneering project.