H S Puri Said 15 More Cities Will Soon Have Over 660-Km of Metro Tracks
India already has a 515-km functional network of metro tracks in various cities and 15 more will soon have over 660 kilometres of tracks for rapid urban transportation, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. H S Puri said 15 more cities will soon have over 660-km of metro tracks. The state governments and union territories have been advised to prepare and submit the Detailed Project Report (DPR) in line with the provisions in the Metro Rail Policy 2017. Interacting with the members of the Consultative Committee attached to the Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry, Puri informed them on HUA’s initiatives on urban transport in India.
According to a statement released by the housing and urban affairs minister, the state governments and union territories have been advised to prepare and submit the Detailed Project Report (DPR) in line with the provisions in the Metro Rail Policy 2017. “Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs has stated that more than 664 kms of metro rail projects in 15 cities are presently under various stages of implementation, while more than 515 kms of metro line are already operational in India,” the statement said. He said several new cities are now aspiring to have metro rail systems. To bring together the technology and service providers, policy makers, officials in urban transport from India and abroad, the 11th Urban Mobility India (UMI) Conference is planned from November 2-4 at Nagpur, with the theme “Green Mobility” to disseminate up-to-date and best urban transport practices information to the cities, he added.
“But the arithmetic did not countenance a sharp depreciation in the rupee to more than Rs 73 per dollar, which has wiped off the gains from lower module prices. That, in turn, will compress the debt servicing cushion available for these projects,” the agency added. For future projects, another risk according to Crisil is the levy of safeguard duty on imported solar modules of 15-25 percent for two years, with effect from July 30. Apart from this, the decision to implement the duty will depend on the verdict of the Odisha High Court, which is hearing a petition by developers, it said. “If the rupee remains weak and safeguard duty is also levied, project costs would dart up by as much as 20 percent. In such a situation, a viable tariff for future projects will have to be higher by 30 paise per unit,” said Manish Gupta, director, Crisil Ratings.
He noted that this would impact the government’s target of setting up 100 GW solar capacity by FY22 because discoms would balk at buying renewable power at higher tariffs. Moreover, Gupta said, lenders could also turn cautious to finance projects at a tariff of less than Rs 3 per unit due to their slim debt service parameters. However, he said financially strong developers may be able to manage the risk to some extent by prudently funding projects with lower external debt component and bringing efficiencies in the operation and maintenance cost per MW because of scale and ability to negotiate with vendors.
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