Sunday, Feb 23, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
It was awaiting a response from the State Government to take up the project as a joint venture with international cooperation, said the Union Minister for Urban Development, Anant Kumar, here on Saturday. He, however, agreed that the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, was in favour of the metro train of world standard for the city in view of the growing traffic.
Speaking to newsmen after inaugurating orientation classes for BJP members in municipalities and corporations, Mr. Kumar said equity participation in the project by the Central and State Governments was fixed at 13 per cent each while the remaining 74 per cent of the cost would be through funding by the international consortium.
Mr. Kumar said a kilometre of rail line would cost Rs. 100 crores under the project. The Delhi metro with a length of 64 km would be completed by 2005. It was part of the first phase of the implementation of the new urban transport policy for the country.
The detailed project report in the case of Bangalore metro involving route alignment study, traffic survey, soil study and economic viability was ready and hopefully this one, Hyderabad- Secunderabad, and Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar projects should get cracking in the next two years, he added.
Making a strong case for rail-based metros, Mr. Kumar said they were less polluting, decongesting, fuel efficient, safe, affordable and user-friendly. They were the best urban transport for the 34 cities in the country with a population of over a million.
The minister also spoke of the success story of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) as a premier financial institution of urban development and housing and said the agency was to close with transactions of Rs. 15,000 crores and authorised capital of Rs. 2,500 crores this fiscal. The transactions were only Rs. 8,200 crores in 2001-2002.
The steep growth in the transactions had given the company AAA (triple A) rating equivalent to M/s. Moodys, Crisil and Fitch.
Stating that the country witnessed a construction revolution, thanks to the assistance given by the HUDCO for weaker section housing, Golden Quadrilateral and Rail Vikas Yojana, Mr. Kumar said this has made the steel and cement industries look up despite a global slowdown in the sectors. Notwithstanding drought in 14 States, the national economy soared because the construction activity contributed to 2 per cent growth rate in the GDP.
The HUDCO assistance to the State for housing and urban infrastructure was only Rs. 1,522.72 crores from 1970 to 1998 whereas it was Rs. 2,880 crores in the last four years.
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