Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that keeping in view the growing popularity of and demand for Metro Rail services, government is considering reducing the population norm for financing metro rail projects. He said at present, central government is financing Metro Projects in towns or cities with a population of 20 lakh and above, and this norm is proposed to be reduced to 10 lakh.
He also emphasised the need for 'smart infrastructure' in urban areas after dedicating to the nation the 500 MWp (megawatt peak) Solar Power Plant of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in Delhi in the presence of Union Minister for Power and New and Renewal Energy Piyush Goyal. The solar power plant, meant to meet part power needs of Dwarka Sector-21 Metro Station was switched on remotely using web link at Metro Bhawan.
Naidu further said that National Urban Transport Policy, 2006 is under review keeping in view the imperative need for improving public transport services in urban areas in the context of growing urbanisation and attendant challenges. Underlining the need for ensuring 'energy security' of the country through reduced dependence on oil imports, both the Ministers referred to the need to scale up speedily renewable energy use through promotion of appropriate technologies based on Prime Minister's dictum of 'Speed, Scale and Skill'.
The Ministers unveiled DMRC's Solar Power Policy which seeks to reach a level of renewable energy use of 20 MW in the next three years. Piyush Goyal said that keeping in view the need and ability of DMRC, this goal be reached in one year. Naidu who travelled by Airport Metro Rail Line this morning, complimented DMRC for increasing the ridership on this line by over 30% per month besides reducing operational losses since it took over the line in July 2013.
He said he has been regularly using this line as it affords 'no stress, no tension' travel.