Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually launch the phase one of the construction of the Agra Metro project on Monday.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will be physically present in the city. The launch was initially scheduled on December 1, but could not materialise. There was uncertainty about the chief minister’s physical presence during the launch.
A big screen has been placed to show the virtual Metro launch. The Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) has set the target to complete the first phase by December 2022.
The Agra Metro project is aimed at easing the movement of about 25 lakh locals and providing connectivity to monuments, railway stations and major markets. There is optimism that hassle-free connectivity through Agra Metro would assist in promoting tourism.
The Agra Metro Rail Project is estimated to cost Rs 8,379.62 crore.
The Metro rail project would help boost tourism in the Taj city, said Kumar Keshav, managing director, Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation.
“The Metro project will not only strengthen the transport system of Agra but also improve the heritage value of its historical monuments. That’s why the Detailed Project Report (DPR) was prepared in such a way that the skyline of Agra was not disturbed and the beauty of its monuments remains intact. However, the DPR by the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) Ltd kept the heritage point in mind,” said Kumar.
The cost of the project has further been optimised by rationalising the facilities based on benchmarking exercises undertaken by the ministry of housing and urban affairs, said the top officer.
“We have focused on protecting the skyline of Agra, especially in the area around Taj. The Agra Metro envisages 2 corridors with a total length of 29.4 Km. The first corridor comprises 14 km and stretches from Taj East Gate to Sikandra which is partly elevated and partly underground with an elevated section of 6.3 km and an underground section of 7.7 km. In the priority section, the 6 km long primary section of 14 km Sikandra – Taj East Gate corridor will be constructed, and it will have six stations. While Taj East Gate, Basai and Fatehabad Road stations will be elevated, the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Jama Masjid halts will be underground because we didn’t want to disturb the skyline near Taj,” Kumar said