The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) yesterday (8 March) launched I-Metro, an association of metro rail companies in India that will act as a forum for exchange of ideas and innovations, reports IANS. According to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, I-Metro aims to get metro operators to share best practices and adoption of latest technology available.
Simultaneously, the Ministry also announced that final touches are being given for a new law to oversee metro rail projects across the country that will replace the existing two laws, reports PTI.. The Metro Railway Act, 2002 currently covers operations while the Metro Railways Act, 1978 covers construction of metro rail projects.
Urban Affairs Secretary D S Mishra said that the new law is required as the existing laws had become antiquated. Due to changes in land acquisition procedures and the public-private partnership model for metro rail, the new law aims address the challenges faced by incumbent legislation. Once completely drafted, the Ministry of Law and Justice will introduce the bill in Parliament.
We have been working on it for the last two years. And. the legislative department (of the Law Ministry) is giving final shape, after which it will go to Cabinet as per the due procedure.
Urban Affairs Secretary D S Mishra
He also added that India presently has 432 km of operational metro lines with another 700 km under-construction across 13 cities with a total of 600 km set to become operational this year.