The construction of the much-awaited Lucknow Metro commenced Saturday with a bhoomi pujan in the presence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and senior ministers of the state government.
The first phase of construction, for which work began Saturday, will cover about 8 km between the “priority section” of Transport Nagar and Charbagh, and is expected to cost about Rs 2,000 crore.
While Larsen and Toubro has been selected for civil works, Systra, a French company, has been selected for designing metro stations and via-ducts. This priority line will have eight stations.
The priority section is a part of the 22.87-km North-South Corridor between Amausi Airport and Munshipulia, which is expected to cost Rs 6,880 crore.
“I have full confidence in Metroman E Sreedharan (principal advisor for Lucknow Metro) and all the related departments that the metro will start running before the next Assembly elections,” the CM said after the bhoomi pujan.
Earlier on March 3 this year, the foundation stone had been laid for metro’s North-South Corridor depot from the same venue, the 32nd battalion, PAC Campus.
“No state government in the country is working for metro in three districts. After NOIDA and Ghaziabad, work has now started in Lucknow,” said the Chief Minister who was accompanied by ministers Azam Khan, Ahmad Hasan, Rajendra Chaudhary, Ram Govind Chaudhary, Abhishek Mishra and other top government officials including Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan.
On the occasion, the CM also took on his critics, saying the Samajwadi Party government did not just stick to its manifesto but took several other steps, such as the metro, as per the needs of the people. “A journalist asked me about my hobby these days. I told him that my only hobby these days is how to remain happy,” he said.
On the occasion, E Sreedharan appealed to Lucknow residents to “bear with the Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation and give them all support as when construction of this kind is taken up through arterial roads of the city, there is bound to be some inconvenience.”