Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said his government will prepare project reports for metro in 19 cities that are home to more than 2 million people.
Laying the foundation stone for the Kochi metro,Singh said detailed project reports for 12 cities have already been prepared. Currently,metro systems are being built in seven cities,a network of 476 km,at a cost of more than Rs 1.15 lakh crore.
Kochi will be the eighth city to get a metro,a 25 km network that is estimated to cost Rs 5,180 crore,of which Rs 1,000 crore will be paid by the Centre.
The Centre,Singh said,is also providing assistance to build Bus Rapid Transit Systems in 11 cities,a network of over 437 km that will cost more than Rs 5500 crore. Under JNNURM,we have sanctioned over 15,000 low floor and semi-low floor buses for mission cities at a total cost of over Rs 4,700 crore, he added.
Later,inaugurating the golden jubilee celebrations of Kerala Union of Working Journalists,Singh said the media should avoid the desire to be sensational and exercise restraint. The desire to be sensational should be avoided even though it is very tempting sometimes. Restraint should be exercised so that nothing that divides our society and country is written,broadcast or telecast, he said.
Referring to the recent violence in Assam,the prime minister said: Today our country is going through difficult times. The unfortunate incidents of the past months have brought out worrying faultlines in our society.
He said the violence in Assam and the exodus of Northeastern people from Mumbai,Pune,Bangalore,Chennai and Hyderabad has shown that we cannot afford to take social peace and harmony for granted. The media has a very important role to play in promoting greater communal harmony and inter-group and inter-community dialogue,he added,so,it should be fair,objective and balanced.