Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced aRs 18,000 crore scheme to augment public transport in urban areas.
While presenting Union Budget 2021-22, she said the government would work towards raising the share of public transport in urban areas through expansion of metro rail network and augmentation of city bus service.
“A new scheme will be launched at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore to support augmentation of public bus transport services,” she said.
It will facilitate deployment of innovative public private partnership (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. Total 702 km of conventional metro is operational and another 1,016 km of metro and regional rapid transit system (RRTS) is under construction in 27 cities.
While presenting the Budget, Sitharaman said the government plans to deploy two new technologies — ‘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.
The Budget proposed central counterpart funding to Kochi Metro Railway Phase-II of 11.5 km at a cost of Rs 1,957.05 crore, Chennai Metro Railway Phase –II of 118.9 km at a cost of Rs 63,246 crore.
Besides, it proposed such funding to Bengaluru Metro Railway Project Phase 2A and 2B of 58.19 km at a cost of Rs 14,788 crore, Nagpur Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Nashik Metro at a cost of Rs 5,976 crore and Rs 2,092 crore, respectively.