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At Launch of Metro Lines in Mumbai, PM Modi Asks Citizens to Learn Tenacity from ISRO Scientists

Modi, who also laid the foundation stone for the Metro Bhavan, said there is a need to create systems to address the concerns of mobility, connectivity, productivity, safety and sustainability in our cities.

News18.com

Updated:September 7, 2019, 10:46 PM IST
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At Launch of Metro Lines in Mumbai, PM Modi Asks Citizens to Learn Tenacity from ISRO Scientists
PM Narendra Modi at the foundation stone laying ceremony of various Metro projects in Mumbai on Saturday. (PTI)
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Mumbai: At the launch of an indigenously-built metro coach in Mumbai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked citizens to learn from the courage of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists, expressing confidence that the country's aim of reaching the moon will be accomplished despite the Chandrayaan-2 landing glitch.

"In Bengaluru, I stayed overnight with my scientific colleagues at ISRO. I am very impressed to see the courage they have shown. How to achieve our goal with full tenacity is the biggest challenge, which one must learn from our scientists and engineers of the space agency, " said Modi, adding that ISRO scientists will not rest till the objective is met.

Accompanied by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Modi inaugurated the coach, which is the first in the list of 500 to be delivered to the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation. It was built by Bharat Earth Movers (BEML) at its Bengaluru facility in just 75 days.

The financial capital is catching up with the national Capital after decades in modern public transport and is pumping in over Rs 1.2 lakh crore to build 14 metro corridors, stretching 337 km, over the next decade.

Metropolitan commissioner RA Rajeev was seen explaining how the new coach will enable commuters to travel along with their bicycles to the destinations, as is seen in the cities of the developed world.

Modi also launched three more metro lines for the city worth over Rs 19,000 crore. He underlined the need to create cities of the 21st century, without which India’s aim of becoming a $ 5-trillion economy will remain a pipe-dream.

Modi, who also laid the foundation stone for the Metro Bhavan, said there is a need to create systems to address the concerns of mobility, connectivity, productivity, safety and sustainability in our cities.

The three new metro projects are the Rs 4,476-crore 9.2-km Gaimukh-Shivaji Chowk (Mira Road) metro-10; the Rs 8,739-crore 12.8-km Wadala-CST metro-11; and the Rs 5,865-crore 20.7-km Kalyan-Taloja metro-12 corridor.

The these new lines are expected to be completed by 2026, when the megapolis will have 337 km of metro network across 14 lines covering the entire MMR area.

The 32-storey Metro Bhavan, to come up at the Aarey Colony in the northern suburb Goregaon, will be the integrated operations and control centre of the metro project.

Significantly, the Metro Bhawan is coming on a 20,387 sq mt forest land deep inside the Aarey Colony, which is one of the two large green lungs of the nation's densest city, and will with a developable area of 1,14,088 sq mt.

The project is coming up against strident public protest in the city, blaming the state and city administration for felling tens of thousands of trees in the Aarey Colony-- home to hundreds of wildlife species and flora and fauna.

"As we have set a target to become a $5 trillion-economy in the next five years, we will have to develop our cities in sync with the 21st century world. For this, we will have to develop systems to ensure mobility, connectivity, productivity, safety and sustainability," Modi said.

Speaking about the metro projects, he said, "Be it the new metro lines or the Metro Bhavan or the elevated BKC bridge connecting the highway...all of them are undertaken with a vision to make life easier for the commuters," he said.

Congratulating Fadnavis for the speedy execution of various infrastructure projects in the city, Modi said, "Mumbai is one city that has given pace to the whole country. Every citizen loves this city. In the past five years, we've taken many efforts to develop infra projects, which are not only going to meet the present-day needs but are also envisioned for making lives easier in the future."

Modi said no one would have imagined that many much delayed projects like the Navi Mumbai international airport or the trans-harbour link or the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project would start at this pace and scale.

"Our intent is to spend Rs 100 lakh crore to develop infrastructure across the country. Along with Mumbai, we also want to develop other cities," he said.

"In the past five years, Rs 1.5 lakh crore were spent on various infra projects in the city. Also we are now making metro coaches in the country. In other words, infrastructure development means employment opportunities," he said, adding across the metro projects which are operational and also under-development, nearly 10,000 engineers and 40,000 skilled and unskilled workers have got employment.

"Infrastructure projects which are undertaken in small areas as well as in the metros have generated more jobs. But no one is talking about this. Probably because people have never seen projects being undertaken at a massive scale like this," he said.

Modi said the first metro line was developed 35 years ago (in Calcutta). "But today, we have nearly 675 km of metro lines operational across 27 cities. Of these, nearly 400 km became operational in the past five years and nearly 850 km are under various stages of construction. In the past five years alone, we have approved almost 600 km of metro lines," he said.

Addressing the gathering, Fadnavis exuded confidence that by 2020-21, around 120 km of the metro network will be operational. "By 2023-24, another 85 km of metro network will commence operations and the rest by 2025. Today 80 lakh passengers are using the suburban rail lines. Once the entire metro network is operational, nearly 100 lakh people will travel on these metro lines."

Fadnavis claimed that the metro system will reduce carbonemissions by 2.5 crore tonne in the city. He also said his government is working towards creating an integrated ticketing system designed to create "one-nation, one-card" that can be used for all modes of public transport across the megapolis.

Fadnavis said the Metro Bhavan will be the largest control centre in country monitoring the entire network. There will also be a training centre in the Bhavan where experts from Milan and Singapore will train the metro staff.

"I am happy to say that we have taken his programme of promoting local manufacturing ahead and created the first indigenous metro coach built by the state-run Bharat Earth Movers," the chief minister said.

Fadnavis also sought the Centre's approval for the first hybrid metro project the state has planned for Nashik.

"As the prime minister has approved several projects in the state, I would request him to approve this one as well. If we do the hybrid projects, I am confident, we will be able to take the metro to even smaller areas."

Currently, of the 14 metro corridors-- civil work on six are underway. These are the Dahisar-DN Nagar metro-2A; DN Nagar-Mandale metro-2B; Colaba-Bandra-Seepz metro-3; Wadala-Kasarvadavli metro-4 corridor, Swami Samarth Nagar-Vikhroli metro-6; and Andheri (East) to Dahisar (East) metro-7 corridor.

(With PTI inputs)

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