Bhubaneswar: MP and BJP National Spokesperson Aparajita Sarangi on Monday urged the State Government to move a proposal to Centre for introduction of metro rail service in twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
Mrs.Sarangi has written a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on this issue. Stating there is a need for Mass Rapid Urban Transport System in the twin cities, she said both the cities along with the periphery area will qualify for rolling out of the metro service.
Bhubaneswar, the Capital City of Odisha, is spread across 422 Sq km with an estimated population (2022) of more than 12 lakhs while Cuttack, the oldest city of Odisha is having a total population of around 10 lakhs, she said.
Thus, the combined population of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will be around 22 lakhs. However, the rapid expansion of habitations and commercial complexes between both the twin cities have expanded at a rapid pace and if one includes the areas which do not come within the Municipal Corporations of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, then the estimated population would be close to 30 lakhs, pointed out the MP.
She mentioned that both Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, though important cities of Odisha, do not have Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS).
As per Metro Rail Policy, 2017, she said, the cities having more than 20 lakhs population should plan for Metro Rail system.
The BJP leader further said that the population of Bhubaneswar is likely to exceed 20 lakhs within 4 to 5 years. Further, as mentioned above, the current combined population of twin cities Bhubaneswar and Cuttack is already exceeding 20 lakhs.
“Therefore, in the fitness of things, an integrated Metro Rail system should be planned for both the cities by the State Government. The project can be implemented in a phased manner, first starting with the city of Bhubaneswar, thereafter expanding to the city of Cuttack,” she wrote to the CM.
Metro system can be planned under 50:50 equity partnership of Central and State Government as per Metro Policy 2017. The implementation of the project can be done by 50:50 joint venture of the Central Government and Government of Odisha, she suggested.
The development of the metro system will not only improve mobility, but it will also enhance the commercial activities in both the twin cities, she added.
For going ahead with the Metro rail system, a feasibility-cum-Detailed Project Report (DPR) needs to be prepared. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), under Urban Transport Planning and Capacity Building Scheme, provides financial assistance up to 50% for conducting feasibility Study and for preparing DPR for formulating such a proposal.
She requested the Chief Minister to kindly look into the matter and direct the concerned officials to send a proposal to MoHUA for sanctioning Central financial assistance for feasibility study and DPR. The BJP MP said she will take up the matter with the Union Government for positive consideration.
Reacting to this letter of Mrs.Sarangi, BJD Lawmaker Rajkishore Das said the metro rail issue was earlier raised and discussed in the State Assembly. It was found not feasible during a survey. It is Chief Minister’s dream that metro service should be introduced in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack cities, he said.
“This issue will again be discussed in the Assembly in coming days as we also want metro service here,” said Mr.Das.