The Agra metro project is scheduled to be virtually inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 1. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adithyanath will also attend the online inauguration function.
The Agra Metro project which is under-construction is a step towards creating a rapid transit network in Agra, the fourth largest city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. In 2016, the feasibility study for the project was conducted, and the government approved it in early 2019. The Agra metro project consists of two metro lines, having a total length of about 30 kilometres.
The construction of the metro line will begin by the end of this year and will be functional by December 2022.
Details of Agra Metro Project:
The Agra metro is an urban Mass Rapid Transit System, covering a total distance of 29.40 km with two lines and 29 stations. In 2016, the Rail India Technical and Economic Services Limited (RITES) made a Detailed Project Report (DPR) and submitted it to the Uttar Pradesh government.
On February 28 2019, the Union Cabinet approved the metro project in Agra. After the submission of DPR for approval, the Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRCL) was assigned as the coordinator to bring together all the stakeholders and get the project started. The project received the Central Government’s cabinet approval in 2019 and was given clearance for construction in July 2020, by the Supreme Court, with a list of 11 conditions that the UPMRCL must adhere to.
The project is to be financed partly by the Indian government and also by the government of Uttar Pradesh on an equal equity basis. Apart from this, a soft loan from Bilateral/ Multilateral international funding agencies to partly fund the Agra metro project.
The system specifications suggest that the top speed of the metro would be 80 kmph and the average speed would 34 kmph. The track gauge would be a standard measure of 1435 mm and the electrification will be 25 Kv, 50Hz AC OHE, with Communications- Based Tran Control (CBTC) used for signalling. The estimated cost for the project is 8,379.62 crore (approx.) The metros would have 87 coaches with an estimate of 7.36 lakh passengers travelling every day by 2031.
In the first phase, Agra metro is from Sikandra to Taj East Gate –three metro stations — Taj East Gate, Basai and Fatehabad road, covering a distance of 14.25 km, with an elevated four-km-long track and the rest 7.68 km would be underground will be constructed within 26 months and at an expected cost of Rs 273 crore. The line 1 metro line would be covering 14 stations in total.
Phase 2 of the metro line will be from Agra Cantonment to Kalindi Vihar, covering a total distance of 15.40 km with completely elevated metro line. In this phase of the project, fifteen stations will be covered.
The ticket prices, fare structure, rules and regulations have not been announced yet and will be finalized as the time for commercial operations approach. The UPMRCL has plans to use the latest technology for an automatic fare collection system, with QR codes.
Construction land for project:
The UP government made it clear that 95 per cent will be government land, thus putting rest to the fear of large-scale land acquisition for the construction. Apart from this, land belonging to private enterprises, railways and defence of nearly 89 hectares of will also be used in the construction of the metro tracks.
The anticipated cost of the entire acquisition is approximately Rs 420 crore, out of which UP-Metro Rail Corporation is expected to spend Ra 245 crore on the first line and Rs 175 crore on the second line of the metro construction project.
In the first DPR for the project, stated that it would require 130 hectares of land at Rs 680 crores. However, after making changes in the DPR and the alignment of the corridors, the cost came down to Rs 260 crores, and the land requirement also cut short to 89 hectares. The maximum expense will be on the first line from Sikandra to Taj East Gate, with nearly fifty-four hectares of land will be purchased at Rs 245 crores.
The Agra Cantonment to Kalindi Vihar corridor will require 35 hectares of land at Rs 175 crores. Almost Rs 672 crores are spent on purchasing a total of 84 coaches. UPMRC officials mentioned that they are planning to run 16 trains of 46 coaches along Agra Cantonment to Kalindi Vihar stretch, while 12 trains of 36 coaches will run on the primary hall from Sikandra to Taj Mahal East Gate.
Bombardier Company has gained the tender to beat the Chinese firm and make coaches for the Agra and Kanpur Metro. Coach Bombardier Company can be being shaped for Delhi Metro.
Rs 288 crore will be spent on coach-building for the primary hall and Rs 384 crore for the second hall coach. Four metro trains will be required for these. By December 2022, after the development of seven km of monitor and six stations, the corporate will have to provide coaches.
In October, the contract awarding for the construction of three metro stations took place.
Agra Metro Project – Solution to Traffic Problems
The Supreme court approved the construction of the Agra metro project on the condition that 18,230 trees should be planted as a part of this execution. The approval of the project is bringing in a ‘Go-Green’ solution in return.
While on the one hand this network is expected to provide a faster and hassle-free transportation facility to the city’s 20 lakh population, on the other hand, the trees planted as part of the project, could make Agra a greener city in future.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone in March 2019, but the construction was put on hold because of environmental concerns raised by the apex court.
Kumar Keshav, the managing director of UPMRC, said that “We will leave no stone unturned in delivering a world-class Metro Network for Agra in the shortest possible time, fully complying with the directives of the Supreme Court.”
He also adds that just like how they received Green Initiative Awards in the Lucknow Metro Project, they are aiming to replicate the same initiatives in the Agra project. The UP government has set a deadline of March 2024 for the Agra metro project, that everyone is looking forward to.
The implementation of the metro rail system will result in less vehicular traffic and better movement on the roads leading to a reduction in congestions, travel time, cost of journeys, accidents and pollution.
Ahead of the programme, barricading for the construction of the first corridor is being done on Fatehabad road. Besides, the foundation of the first metro rail station will be laid opposite to TDI Mall on Fatehabad road.