- Out of the 13, 11 have been started only in the last 15 years.
Work on India’s first metro network began in Kolkata in 1972 and the first train — two non-air conditioned rakes manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in Perambur — rolled out of the city’s Esplanade station in October 1984, travelling 3.4-km to Bhowanipore (now Netaji Bhavan). But it was not till 2002, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee boarded a train from Kashmere Gate station of the all-elevated section of the Delhi Metro, that India truly entered the metro age.
In a decade and a half since then, India has brought eleven cities — Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Noida, Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Kochi — on the metro map. In the last four years, the government has doubled-down on the effort to extend the metro network, raising budgetary allocation by over 250 per cent to Rs 42,696 crore in the 2015-18 period from the previous Rs 16,565 crore allocation for the 2012-15 period. As a result, the total operational metro network, including that in Kolkata and Delhi, has crossed the 500-km mark.
In February and March alone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated new stretches of metro in five cities – Chennai, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Ghaziabad and Noida. He has also laid the foundation for Agra Metro Rail project. Work on over 500 km of metro rail projects is currently under various stages of completion in these cities:
Delhi has the country’s largest metro rail network extending over 375 km with 236 stations in the National Capital Region. The most recent addition to the network, which is considered to the fifth largest in the world, came on 9 March with the inauguration of the extension of the Blue Line section in Noida by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 6.7 km Blue Line extension is a completely-elevated section.
Three phases of the Delhi metro have been completed, and the Center has given in-principle approval for three out of six corridors planned under phase four. The three corridors – Aerocity to Tughlakabad, R K Ashram to Janakpuri West and Maujpur to Mukundpur, will stretch nearly 62 km with 16 underground and 29 elevated stations. The other three corridors – Rithala to Bawana, Inderlok to Indraprastha and Lajpat Nagar to Saket G Block – are yet to receive approval from the Centre. The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, however, has given in-principle approval to all the six corridors which will be built at a cost of nearly Rs 24,949 crore. This phase of Delhi Metro is likely to be complete by 2025, reports say.
The first corridor of the Noida Metro, called the Aqua Line, was inaugurated and opened for public by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on 25 January this year. The 29.7 km long corridor connects the city of Noida with Greater Noida and has 21 stations currently. Work on the corridor had began in 2014.
In December 2018, the second phase of Noida Metro was approved by the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority. The corridor to be constructed under phase two will connect Noida Sector 71 with Greater Noida’s Knowledge Park Five via Ace Divino. According to the Detailed Project Report, the 15 km corridor will have nine stations and is expected to cost around Rs 2602 crore.
The 23 km long north-south corridor of the Lucknow Metro was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for commercial run on 8 March this year. The corridor, also called the Red Line, was completed ahead of time. It has 20 stations and a 3.5 km long underground section. An 8.5 km long section of this corridor was inaugurated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in September 2017. By some accounts, Lucknow Metro that holds the record of fastest metro to begin commercial operations.
The detailed project report for the construction of the second corridor, which will be called Blue Line, has been sent to the government. This section of the metro network, which will run from east to west, is likely to be at least 11 km long. It will have 12 stations, seven of which will be underground.
A 10 km long corridor of the Jaipur Metro, which has nine stations, was completed in 2015. The Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation is extending this corridor by 2.4 km. Two more stations will be built on the extended link. This section is likely to be completed by July this year. Reports suggest that another extension, which will increase the span of the corridor by 600 meters, has also been planned. When both the extensions are complete, the total length of the corridor, called Pink line, will be 12.07 km.
The second phase of the Jaipur Metro, called Orange Line, will be nearly 24 km long. It is likely to have at least 20 stations. In February this year, Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation terminated the contract for detailed project report given to EGIS Rail S.A.
The first and second phases of the Gurgaon metro, both of which have been completed, cover a distance of 5.1 km and 6.6 km, respectively. While the corridor built under phase one has 6 stations, the one built under the second phase has five. The first phase opened in 2013 and the second phase in 2017.
The third phase of the Gurgaon Metro, reports say, is still on the drawing board. The Haryana government has to select from the two possible routes – one a 12 km line from Huda City Centre to Gurgaon railway station and the other a 27 km corridor right up to Dwarka Sector 21 in New Delhi. Earlier, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had rejected a proposed route between Delhi’s Dwarka and Gurgaon’s Iffco Chowk due to its economic unviability.
The Hyderabad Metro, India’s second largest metro rail network, next only to Delhi, has an operational length of 56 km. The network currently has three corridors. With the inauguration of the 16 km stretch between Ameerpet and Hi-Tec City on 20 March, the first corridor project of 29 km from Miyapur to L B Nagar has been completed. The second corridor – Jubilee Bus Station to Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station – is 15 km long. The third corridor – Nagole to Hi-Tec City – is 28 km long. Both these corridors, being built under phase one, are at different stages of completion. While the first corridor has 27 stations, the second will have 15 and the third 24. When the second and the third corridor are complete, the Hyderabad Metro will have an operational network of 72 km.
The second phase of the Hyderabad Metro is still on the drawing board. According to recent reports, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is preparing a DPR for the second phase and is likely to submit its report soon. Under the second phase, connectivity will be provided between Raidurg and international airport at Shamshabad.
The Nagpur Metro is being developed in two corridors. The first corridor will be 19.7 km long. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off a 13.5 km part of this corridor on 7 March. Work on this route, comprising five stations from Khapri to Sitabuldi, started in June 2015. When complete, this corridor, also called the Orange Line, will have 19 stations. The second corridor, which will link Prajapati Nagar in the east to Lokmanya Nagar in the west, will stretch 18.6 km and have 19 stations.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis approved the second phase of the Nagpur metro in January this year. This phase will cover 43 km and will be divided in five segments – Lokmanya Nagar to Hingna, Wasudeo Nagar to Wadi, Automotive Square to Kanhan river, Prajapati Nagar to Transport Nagar, and airport to Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation elevated service reservoir.
The Mumbai Metro is being built in three phases. Under the first phase, a network of nearly 130 km is being built. The 11.4 km long Versova – Andheri – Ghatkopar section, also called Line 1, became operational in June 2014 and has 12 stations. The Dahisar-Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd section, called Line 2, is divided into two segments – 18.5 km long section between Dahisar and D N Nagar, labeled A, and 23.6 km segment linking DN Nagar to Mankhurd, labeled B. The fully underground Metro corridor connecting Colaba-Bandra-Seepz, called Line 3, will run 32.5 km. Nearly 20 km of tunnelling for Line 3 has already been completed.
Other parts of the planned network, including the second and the third phase, remain under construction. According to the current plan, Mumbai Metro will have 12 sections with a total length of 276 km. The government aiming to complete Metro 2A (D N Nagar to Dahisar) and Metro 7 (Andheri East to Dahisar East) first. Contract for the supply of 378 coaches (63 metro trains) for Line 2A and 7 have been awarded to Bengaluru-based BEML Limited’s Rail Coach Factory.
The first phase of the Chennai Metro, covering nearly 45 km of the city, has two stretches – 23.1 km Blue Line between Washermanpet and Chennai International Airport and a 22 km Green Line stretching from Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount. Prime Minister Modi had inaugurated the 10 km stretch between AG-DMS station and Washermanpet in February this year. A 9 km extension to link the first phase to the northern areas of the city — Wimco Nagar and Tondiarpet — is being built.
Phase two, under which a 119 km metro network will be built, is divided in three segments — Madhavaram to Shollinganallur, Light House to Poonamallee and Madhavaram to SIPCOT. Of this, 76.3 km will be elevated and just 42.6 km will be built underground. At least 128 stations will be built along this stretch.
Under the first phase of Namma Metro, a network stretching 42 km has been built, of which 8.82 km is underground and 33.48 km is elevated. The first phase been constructed in form of two segments – 18.22 km Purple Line between
Baiyyappanahalli and Mysore Road and 24.2 km Green Line between Nagasandra and Yelachenahalli. The number of stations along this stretch is 41.
The second phase of the Namma Metro has faced delays. The phase two project was approved as early as 2014. It was supposed to be completed by 2020, but recent reports suggest it will be operational only by 2024.
The second phase involves the construction of a 72 km long network, with 13.79 km underground, 0.48 km at grade and 57.825 km elevated, and 61 stations. Construction is likely to move ahead as the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change last week approved in principle the diversion of forest land to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation for the construction of three stations and a depot on the east-west corridor between Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield.
The first phase of the Kochi Metro project, under which a network stretching 25.6 km is to be built between Aluva to Petta, is currently under construction. An 18.4 km stretch of the first phase has been completed and is currently under operations. The phase one also includes an extension to Angamaly. The 13.2 km stretch of the Kochi Metro between Aluva to Palarivattom between inaugurated by Modi in June 2017. Then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation of the project in 2012.
Second phase of the Kochi metro project, which will connect JLN Stadium with Info Park, was approved by the state cabinet in 2017. The 11.2 km stretch, which will cost Rs 2310 crore, will have 11 stations. According to reports, an agency has been awarded the work of preparing a DPR for the third phase of the Kochi Metro which will connect Aluva to Angamaly. The corridor may have a length of around 20 km.
Prime Minister Modi had inaugurated the first phase of the Ahmedabad Metro on 4 March. The corridor, which stretches 6.5 km, connects Vastral to Thaltej Gam and Gyaspur depot to Motera stadium and has six stations.
The Center had approved the construction of the second phase of the Ahmedabad metro in February this year. Corridor built under the second phase will connect Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad to Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.
The construction of the Kolkata Metro started in 1972 and the first stretch became operational a decade later, in 1984. Called North South Metro, it stretches 27 km between Kavi Subhash to Dum Dum and serves 29 stations.
The second corridor, called the East-West Metro, will connect the Salt Lake area of Kolkata to Howrah by passing under the Hooghly river. This corridor will have the first underwater transport tunnels in India. Two tunnels, 3.8 km long, are currently being built using a German-made tunnel-boring machine, christened Prerna. According to reports, commercial operations on the 6 km stretch between Sector V and Salt Lake stadium could begin as early as April-end.
Two more corridors of the Kolkata Metro – an 18.1 km link between Noapara-Barasat Metro and a 32 km stretch between Kavi Subhas (New Garia) and the Kolkata airport – are also being built. Construction of the Kolkata airport metro station has also started after remaining suspended for a year and a half.