A `majboot' government put metro rail on fast track: PM Modi in Nagpur

Nagpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday metro connectivity in the country has expanded by 400 km since 2014 when a "strong" government took charge at the Centre. He said work on 800 km of metro lines is currently in progress in different parts of the country, adding projects of rapid transport system have created employment opportunities. The PM said it was the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government which conceived the metro rail project to deal with traffic woes in cities. He was addressing a gathering via video conferencing after inaugurating the 13.5 km first phase of Nagpur Metro connecting Khapri-Sitaburdi areas in the city. "After a new government (led by the Congress) took over (in 2004), it could build only 250 km of metro network (till 2014). But since 2014, the connectivity has increased to 650 km and work is in progress on another 800 km," the prime minister said. He said, "Since you replaced a `majboor' (helpless) government with a `majboot' (strong) one, metro connectivity rose from 250 km to 650 km, an increase of 400 km in a short span of time." "Work on 800 km metro lines is in progress in different parts of the country, including Mumbai, Thane and Pune," he said. Modi recalled he had laid the foundation stone of Nagpur Metro in 2014 and was happy to launch its first phase. The Nagpur Metro is a green rail system since it is pollution free and will ease traffic woes and reduce people's dependence on smaller vehicles, Modi said. He said Nagpur was among the fast developing cities in world, where there is a vast scope for trade, industrial development and investment. "The population of Nagpur will double by 2050 and the state and central governments are working to modernise the traffic system in the city to meet future needs," he said. Metro projects have also boosted employment opportunities, he said, adding during its construction, the Nagpur Metro created 20,000 jobs. He said his government has put in place a policy to expand the metro network in the country and position it as a viable public transport system. Speaking about the national common mobility card, Modi said the card was an indigenously developed payment system for transport for use anywhere in the country. The RuPay card, Bhim app and common mobility card have upgraded digital infrastructure in the country, he said.

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