Urban affairs secretary DS Mishra, on March 8, 2018, revealed that a new law was being framed, for metro networks across the country. “The two existing laws related to operation, maintenance and construction, have become very old and they were formulated when the scenario was completely different. Now the situation has changed. The new law would seek to address all the issues faced by metro networks,” he said.
Mishra said, the issue of land acquisition and public-private-partnership model has evolved and the legislation that will replace the existing laws will ‘create an ecosystem that will further the growth story of the metros’. He was interacting with reporters on the sidelines of the launch of ‘I-Metros’ or Indian Metros Rail Organisations Society, an association of all Indian metro rail companies, at a conference on ‘Indian Metros: Collaborating for Excellence’. “We have been working on it for the last two years. The legislative department (of the Law Ministry) is giving final shape, after which it will go to the cabinet, as per the due procedure,” he said.
The Metro Railway (Operations and Maintenance) Act, 2002, is an act of the parliament that governs the operations of metro rail systems in India. Mishra also said that currently the span of all metro networks operational in the country, stands at 425 kms and another 700 kms are under construction in 13 cities, he said. “By the end of this year, 600 kms will become operational,” he added.
Cabinet secretary PK Sinha, in his address said this new platform (I-Metros) ‘will go a long way, if things progress in the right spirit by adopting the best practices and the latest technologies’. Sinha said revenues from passengers segment will always be a challenge, so metros should ‘look at other innovative ways, whereby, they can raise revenues and make it self-sustaining ventures’.