Centre lauds Lucknow Metro progress
All Metros across the country being built and operated with Central Government equity have been asked to promote efficiency while hiring manpower and in procurement by taking necessary measures. This was conveyed by Rajiv Gauba, Secretary (Urban Development) during a review of progress of various metro projects and issues related to their functioning here today. Issues ranging from appointment of Independent Directors and Chief Vigilance Officers, standardization of equipment, bulk procurement, fare fixation, performance based promotions, competitive bidding, security etc., were discussed during the two hour long review exercise.
A proposal for appointing a common Regulator for all metro projects for fare fixation was discussed and it was decided that the views of respective States would be appropriately taken into consideration in this regard while taking a decision. Officials of Metro projects opined that since the losses on account of metro operations were to be borne by respective States under the law, their views need to be factored while considering a common Regulator.
Gauba urged all metro operators to ensure early appointment of Independent Directors on the Boards including at least one woman Director as required under the Companies Act, 2013. He also called for early appointment of Chief Vigilance Officers by respective Boards in consultation with Chief Vigilance Commissioner.
Stressing on the need for efficiency in project management and metro operations, Gauba suggested ‘Fast Track Promotion’ policy as appropriate for consideration by respective Boards to attract good manpower talent.
He also asked Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to come out with a Draft Tender Document within 3 months to facilitate common bulk procurement of various equipment required by different metros to take advantage of economies of scale on the lines of what is being followed in respect of 7 Ultra Mega Power Projects. Directing the concerned officials in the Ministry of Urban Development to finalise Standardisation of norms for different components including the rolling stock in the context of expansion of metro cities in 3 months, Gauba emphasized the need to promote indigenous production of such equipment under Make In India.
He said that while finalizing standard norms for metro equipment, changes in technology needs to be factored in.
During discussion on recovering the cost of providing security for metro services and in premises through metro fares, it was felt that this needs to be considered in the context of security being a sovereign function of the States.
On the issue of sharing of costs on account of foreign exchange fluctuations, it was informed that this issue was referred to the Ministry of Finance and their response is awaited.
Gauba complimented Lucknow Metro for being in a position to commission the priority section of 8.50 km of North-South Corridor between Airport and Charbagh Railway Station by the end of this year. Work on Lucknow Metro started about two years back.
Senior officials of the Ministry besides Chief Executives of Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kochi Metro attended the review meeting.