PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated and laid the foundation of infrastructure projects worth thousands of crores in Mumbai. While laying the foundation stone of three new Metro lines in the city, worth over Rs 19,000 crore, the PM underlined the need to create cities for the 21st century in order to realise his government’s aim of becoming a $ 5 trillion economy.
“As we have set a target to become a $ 5 trillion economy in the next five years, we will have to develop our cities in sync with the 21st century world. For this, we will have to develop systems to ensure mobility, connectivity, productivity, safety and sustainability,” Modi said at an event held at a convention centre in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).
“Our intent is to spend Rs 100 lakh crore to develop infrastructure across the country. Along with Mumbai, we also want to develop other cities,” he added.
At the event, the PM gave an account of his government’s accomplishments in the first 100 days of its second term. Among them, he listed the triple talaq issue and the abrogation of Section 370 that revoked the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Modi inaugurated Metro 2A and a mock coach for Metro 7, manufactured by Bharat Earth Movers limited (BEML), as a part of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
He performed bhoomipoojan for three Metro corridors — Rs 4,476-crore 9.2-km Gaimukh-Shivaji Chowk (Mira Road) Metro 10; Rs 8,739-crore 12.8-km Wadala-CST Metro 11 and Rs 5,865-crore 20.7-km Kalyan-Taloja Metro 12. These corridors are expected to be completed by 2026, when Mumbai is set to have 337-km of Metro network across 14 lines covering the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
The PM also laid the foundation stone of the 32-storey Metro Bhavan, to come up at the Aarey Colony in Goregaon. It will act as the integrated operation and control centre of all Metro corridors.
“We want to make sure that the next generation enjoys a better and comfortable commute. We are aiming at a holistic development and have been inspired by Mumbai’s never-say-die attitude,” said Modi.
“I am also proud of the fact that now the Metro coaches are manufactured in India itself under the Make in India initiative, which is creating jobs for direct and indirect sectors. We have also given one of the biggest orders to BEML,” he said after inaugurating the first Metro coach. The coach will be exhibited at the MMRDA grounds for a few days, officials said.
The PM said while the first Metro line was developed 35 years ago (in Calcutta) India today nearly has 675 km of Metro network operational across 27 cities. “Of these, nearly 400 km became operational in the last five years. Nearly 850 km are under various stages of construction at present. In the last five years alone, we have approved almost 600 km of Metro network.”
On his maiden visit to Mumbai after his re-election, the PM visited a 96-year-old Ganesh pandal at Lokmanya Seva Sangh at Vile Parle.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that by 2020-21, around 120 km of Metro network will become operational in Mumbai. “By 2023-24, another 85 km will be added to this. The remaining will become operational by 2025. Today, 80 lakh passengers are using suburban rail. Once the entire Metro network is operational, nearly 100 lakh people will travel on these lines.”
He claimed that the Metro system will reduce carbon emissions by 2.5 crore tonne in the city. The CM said that his government is working towards creating an integrated ticketing system designed to create “one-nation, one-card” that can be used for all modes of public transport across Mumbai.
Meanwhile, the PM was slated to inaugurate the BKC-Chunabhatti elevated connector on Saturday. However, with the connector still to be completed, Modi gave the event a miss. The connector is expected to be thrown open to the public in October.