Industry seeks innovative metro policy

    New Metro Policy
    Players engaged in building metro projects and allied infrastructure along metro lines expect that the new metro policy will lay out a clear road map and address multiple pressing concerns like operations, safety, regulation, and construction. Currently, various Acts such as Indian Railways Act, 1989 and Indian Tramways Act, 1886 are governing the sector. Besides, the policy will suggest innovative financial models for the metro rail projects being highly capital intensive and make a case for a single nodal agency to address issues relating to alignment, utilities shifting, environment clearances for the time bound implementation. Chief Financial Officer, R Shankar Raman, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), said that in order to look at new financial model, it is important to look at the risks associated and additional means of revenue to support financial viability. The main risk in execution is obtaining the right way and clearing all utilities that obstruct the alignment of the metro rail systems. Construction should start only after 100% of right way and utilities are cleared as this would ensure construction in the shortest possible time. Thereby, saving interest during claims and no cost over runs due to delay and issues linked to utilities. He suggested that providing real-estate development option with full rights to develop or sublease or monetize and having ownership for long-term upto 99 years is important and the realty projects should be around the depots and stations or along the alignment, he insisted.
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