The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the Agra Metro Rail project, granting permission to the Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation to implement it. The apex court gave its approval subject to the condition that UPMRC will now have to plant 18,230 saplings — the number is 10 times more than that initially proposed — during the project execution phase. This condition is in agreement with the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC).
It might be mentioned that the detailed project report was drafted in 2016 and was approved by the Union Cabinet in February 2019, after which Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation in March the same year. However, due to restrictions and intervention from the SC, the construction work was put on hold. The apex court-appointed CEC reviewed the environmental impact of the metro project and submitted its report along with its recommendations. After this, SC permitted the UPMRC to proceed with the implementation.
The Rs 8,379.62-crore project is expected to benefit around 20 lakh people of Agra, the third-largest city of Uttar Pradesh that will have two corridors – the 14-km Sikandra to Taj East Gate corridor and the 15.4-km Agra Cantt to Kalindi Vihar corridor. There will be a total of 23 elevated and eight underground stations. Once completed, the project will provide environment friendly, comfortable and hassle-free connectivity to major residential, commercial and tourist sites like Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
The UPMRC, which has already executed the Lucknow Metro Rail Project in a record time of less than four years and six months, has been engaged in planning and designing the Agra project. It has, only recently, awarded the Agra metro’s rolling stock and telecom works to Bombardier India.
Tweeting about the development, Durga Shankar Mishra, secretary, MoHUA, said, “I am sure with its outstanding track record in implementing Lucknow and Kanpur Metro, UPMRC will now take up the physical work at the site at a fast pace ….” and added that the project would be completed in time and would help fast-track the economic growth and development of the city and its surroundings.