Urban development ministry wants to equip itself with Metro safety and technical know how

Written by Rajat Arora | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 15 2013, 09:21am hrs
The ministry of urban development (MoUD), the nodal ministry for the implementation of Metro and rapid rail projects, wants to equip itself with skills for technical planning and safety aspects of projects. It believes the current practice of running to the Indian Railways for assistance on this front is time-consuming and leads to cost overruns.

Indian Railways is not familiar with the advance Metro rail technology which is causing delays in implementation and operations of Metro projects, an MoUD official said.

The ministry has prepared a Cabinet note saying that dedicated posts of commissioners of Metro safety should be created under the ministry so that workload of safety certification of Metro railways can be taken up effectively without delay. At present, the safety certification to Metro projects is given by the commissioner of safety (railways).

The Metro Railway (operation and maintenance act) Act, 2002 empowers the central government to appoint commissioners of Metro railway safety to inspect the line to determine whether it is fit to be opened for carriage of passengers, make such periodical inspection of Metro railway, its rolling stock as well as other installations as the central government may direct.

Metro projects are planned in about a dozen cities, including Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Indore, Kanpur, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Nagpur, Nashik, Patna and Pune.

There are also extension plans in Kolkata and Delhi, Metro rail projects are at various stages of execution in cities like Jaipur, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi and Hyderabad.