Lucknow on wheels: A new era for Lucknow begins
What was conceptualized in September 2008 will finally see the light of the day on 8th March, 2019. Uttar Pradesh Government’s biggest project, Lucknow Metro will be flagged off through a video conferencing by PM Narendra Modi on March 8 while it will open for public from March 9.
I still remember the summer of 2015 when I, for the first time, entered the office of Lucknow Metro. A small digital screen caught my attention, the screen was showing the remaining number of days for the metro to start its commercial operation on a small priority stretch. Back then, the Akhilesh Yadav government had set a deadline to start the operations between Charbagh – Transport Nagar stretch. And guess what, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) was able to achieve that.
However, this time around the Lucknow Metro’s entire North-South corridor is ready for operations two months before the April 2019 deadline and remains India’s one of the fastest developed Metro rail line.
In the Union Budget of 2014, a budget of Rs 100cr was allocated for both Lucknow and Ahmedabad metro. In 2017, Lucknow Metro’s priority stretch of about 8 kms was inaugurated while in 2019, the entire 22.8 km stretch of Lucknow metro will be inaugurated on March 8th. In sharp contrast to Lucknow Metro, Ahmedabad Metro recently started the trial run on its priority stretch of 6.5 kms while the entire route is expected to be ready by 2020.
Once touted to be the pet project of Mayawati-led-BSP Government, was finally brought to limelight by the Akhilesh Yadav government in 2013. The first concept paper of Lucknow Metro was submitted by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in September 2008. The following month, in Oct’08 Lucknow Development Authority, cleared the project and an agreement was signed between LDA & DMRC. Later in 2009, a Bangalore-based company was roped in to study the traffic pattern of Lucknow and DMRC submitted a detailed route plan in 2010. While a year later, Lucknow Metro’s Detailed Project Report (DPR) was ready.
However, it was only in 2013 that the project was finally cleared by the Uttar Pradesh Government. The same year, a special purpose vehicle (SPV)- Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) was formed by the Uttar Pradesh Govt to undertake the responsibility to construct and operate Lucknow Metro. In 2014, India’s Metro Man E. Sreedharan was appointed as the principal advisor of Lucknow Metro and a deadline to start the priority stretch by Feb 2017 was set. The construction work finally began in March 2014.
The rest is history now. The North-South Corridor or the Red Line of Lucknow Metro will connect Airport to Munshipulia. The highest fare is fixed at Rs 60 while the lowest is Rs 10. Lucknow airport, Alambagh bus station, Charbagh Railway Station, Vidhan Sabha, Hazratganj, Lucknow University, Badhshah Nagar railway station and Bhootnath will now be connected by Lucknow Metro.
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