BANGALORE: The Union Ministry of Urban Development got an increase of Rs 874 crore in its annual budget with a majority of the amount envisaged to be spent on construction and extension of Metro network in cities across the country.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced that while Delhi Metro will be getting Rs 1,112.57 crore as equity, because of its huge expansion plan, Bangalore Metro will get Rs 900 crore and Chennai, Rs 990 crore as equity.
The total plan outlay for the ministry, which partly owns all Metro networks in the country along with the respective state governments, is Rs 7,729 crore as against the last year’s allocation of Rs 6,855 crore.
A total of Rs 3,164.57 crore will be infused into the Metro Rail Corporations of Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Jaipur and Kochi as Union Government’s equity.
Further, Rs 603 crore is earmarked for water supply and sanitation in Metro networks across the country.
As part of this allocation, the government also allocated Rs 570.88 crore as pass through assistance for Bangalore Metro, Rs 2,030 crore has been earmarked for Delhi Metro and Kolkata would receive Rs100 crore.
Chairman and Managing Director of the Bangalore Metro Sivasailam said that the Budget was favourable.
“Metro policies are already present. The current budget has been quite favourable overall. The Ministry of Urban Development too has made a proposal, and finance aspect has been considered,” Sivasailam said.
Urban experts claimed this was advantageous for not just Bangalore Metro but for other Metro constructions as well.
However, they specified that unless construction was completed in the stipulated time, allocating more funds would only harm taxpayers’ money. “Metro work is a white elephant’s work. It is the tax payers’ money and not just the government money that is being used in the construction that often gets delayed. Costs are going up and each time, more funding is required. Around Rs 1 lakh crore has been earmarked for transportation already,” said M N Sreehari, traffic advisor.