With the inauguration of Ahmedabad metro, length of metro projects in India has reached 810 km, overtaking Japan, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said Friday.
Puri was speaking at the inauguration of Phase-1 of Ahmedabad Metro where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present.
“After the inauguration of Ahmedabad metro, the coverage of metrorail in India reaches 810 kilometers. It is a matter of pride, that India is among leading countries with respect to total length of metrorail”, the union minister said adding that India has not only overtaken Japan, but also has 982 kilometers of Metro rail under construction. “Once this (982 kilometers of metro rail) finishes, India will overtake South Korea and United States and will reach the second position in the world. I am expecting this to happen within next 1-2 years,” he added.
Puri said that the metrorail network in India was limited to 248 kilometers between 2002-14.
“The first modern network was started in Delhi by Vajpayee government in 2002. Till 2014, metro network expanded only by 248 kilometers. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over the development of the nation in May 2014, there has been a mentionable progress in the development of metro,” he said.
Talking about the urban development in India, Puri said, “From 2004-2014, only Rs 1.57 lakh crore was invested in urban development. But since last eight years, Rs 16.5 lakh crore has been invested. It is about 10 times more.” Puri said adding that Ahmedabad will become India’s seventh mega city by 2030.
During the Friday’s event, HOKUGO Kyoko, Minister (Economic & Development), Embassy of Japan, attended the ceremony along with officials of JICA which has extended a loan for building of Ahmedabad Metro, stated an official release here.
Kawazu Kunihiko, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Embassy of Japan stated, “We would like to congratulate on the successful completion of the project and the ceremony held on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Japan. Due to rapid expansion of population and economic activities, traffic congestion and traffic pollution have become a major concern for the city. Ahmedabad metro will provide the alternative choice of city transportation and shall also ease traffic congestion and pollution.” “ The metro is well planned as a part of the integrated urban transportation of the city. Further, it is expected to contribute to further economic development and the further transaction in Ahmedabad,” Kunihiko added.
Saito Mitsunori, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) India Office, said,“JICA has been helping India to achieve its socio-economic development goals and this Metro Rail System Network is one such example.”