People in Lucknow will finally be able to ride the metro from Wednesday after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and UP CM Yogi Adityanath jointly flagged off its commercial run on Tuesday. The 8.5-km priority corridor from Transport Nagar to Charbagh will be operational from 6 am to 10 pm daily.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath, who represents Lucknow in Lok Sabha, said the metro rail has opened the doors to infrastructure development in the city. “Lucknow will now be known as the city of metro rail,” he added. Dedicating the project to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Singh said, “Atalji was an MP from Lucknow and as PM, he had launched the first metro rail project in the country in Delhi.”
Adityanath announced that instead of setting up separate metro rail corporations to execute projects in different parts of the state, the government has decided to set up a UP Metro Rail Corporation. The CM also invited ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan to work with the corporation as principal advisor. Sreedharan is currently principal advisor to Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation. “Under the guidance of Sreedharan, Lucknow metro rail project was developed in a speedy manner. He is an example for bureaucrats who delay work,” Adityanath said. Governor Ram Naik and Union MoS (Independent charge), Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, were also present.
Indirectly hinting at the tussle between former CM Akhilesh Yadav and the Adityanath government to take credit for the project, Naik said. “I am pained. This was not supposed to happen, but it has happened…for the credit. l will give the credit for the project to Government of India and the state government because both have shared the project cost in equal ratio.”