The State of Uttar Pradesh rejoiced as one of its major and densely populated cities got the thumbs up for a key metro project to begin in the historic city of Agra. The virtual event was led by none other than the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was attended by other bigwigs like Chief Minister of UP- Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs- Hardeep Singh Puri. The project is a major leap forward in improving the overall infrastructure of this state.
Infrastructure has been a long-standing issue for the whole country. Poorly developed infrastructure around the nation has not only hindered its pace of progress, it has also kept interior regions from prospering- be it economically or through lack of opportunity. The government has been taking notable steps to tackle this problem and the introduction of setting up a metro in Agra has been one of the answers.
Estimated to cost somewhere around INR 8,379.62 crores, the project will take five years for its completion. The Agra Metro scheme has been brought forward as a part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline Project, projected to cost more than INR 100 lakh crore of taxpayer money, and the Multi-modal Connectivity Infrastructure Master Plan. The schemes have been set as government takes on tremendous initiatives to attract foreign investment in the forms of private corporations and tourism.
As a part of its tourism initiative, the Central Government has extended the e-Visa plan to more countries and reduced hotel room taxes. Swadesh Darshan and Prasad scheme was also instrumental in helping India climb up the ranks to 34th from its previous 65th ranking of 2013 in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. India is well on its way to become an even more popular tourist destination as it gears up to offer better travelling amenities around major cities than before.
Outlining the government’s plans of total reformation, the Prime Minister Modi stated that cities will undergo developmental changes in four stages. Firstly, long standing problems of each city will be addressed followed by taking measures to make city life more comfortable, thirdly by attracting investment and lastly by using modern tech for complete restoration and reformation.
The city of Agra was also the centre point of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana which has helped the urban poor and middle class families buy homes. Under the scheme, water, waste management and sewer infrastructure are in the process of getting upgraded to improve the quality of life and environment around the bustling urban areas.
Currently, a 450 km long metro line, whose work began six years ago, is already in operation. The dual corridor metro line of Agra will be 29.4 kilometres long, joining various city landmarks like Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. The project will make intra-city travel for the local populace easier, just as it will benefit the lakhs of tourists that Agra hosts each year. Offering an alternate to pollution and traffic, the metro system is an ideal economic choice of transit in bustling cities. Like Agra, many more cities are also in the process of infrastructural development as the government speeds up its plans of laying a 1000 kilometre long line across those areas.
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