Lucknow to have metro soon

Updated 05 July 2013
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Lucknow to have metro soon

After Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Banaglore, Chennai and Kolkata now it’s the turn of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, to have metro train. Lucknow’s population has been rapidly growing over the past few years because of the migration of population from sub-urban areas. Presently the population of Lucknow is over 5 million. The Uttar Pradesh government after much deliberation has now given the final approval to metro train’s mega project.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav recently had a meeting with the Japan International Co-operation Agency’s India chief Shinya Ejima and Deputy Chief Representative Ichiguchi Tomohide where they discussed the implementation of the project.
The agency has a rich experience in executing metro projects in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Banaglore, Chennai and Kolkata. Sources said the World Bank Association and the JICA has expressed willingness to bankroll the project.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Javed Usmani told Arab News the Cabinet has approved the 23-km long first phase from Chaudhari Charan Singh International Airport to Munshi Pulia. It would be built at a cost of between Rs. 70 to Rs. 80 billion. The work is expected to start by the end of this year and will be completed in three to four years.
He said the state government has send a formal proposal to the Centre to include Lucknow Metro in ‘The Metro Railways (Construction of Work) and Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Acts’ a prerequisite for the work to begin. Out of three phases the project for the first phase will only get implemented after the Central government gives its nod to the state proposal to provide it the necessary statutory backing.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has drafted the Detailed Project Report (DPR) revised its blueprint by reducing the length of the underground track from seven to three kilometers, bringing down the cost of the proposal corridor by Rs. 10 billion. The total cost of Rs.150 billion is to be provided on a 50-50 basis by the Centre and the state government. Both the partners would contribute 20 percent each as equity while the balance will be raised through loan. A sub-committee constituted by the state government under Secretary Housing Rajiv Agarwal will suggest measures for raising funds.


Thai protesters march in Bangkok, police set up barriers

Updated 28 min 3 sec ago
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Thai protesters march in Bangkok, police set up barriers

  • Government House and surrounding streets have been declared a no-go zone by police for the opposition march marking four years since a May 22, 2014 coup
  • The junta, known as the National Council for Peace and Order, is facing a public perception crisis

BANGKOK: Anti-government protesters began marching in Bangkok on Tuesday from a university in the Thai capital to Government House to demand that the military government hold a general election by November.
Government House and surrounding streets have been declared a no-go zone by police for the opposition march marking four years since a May 22, 2014, coup and have warned protesters not to defy a junta ban on public gatherings.
Police set up barriers along some roads near the university and carried out security checks on Tuesday.
More than 100 demonstrators walked in a line behind a truck with loudspeakers as police looked on, according to Reuters reporters at the scene.
One of the protest organizers, Sirawith Seritiwat, also known as Ja New, said protesters planned to march peacefully.
“I hope they will let us walk out. We have no intention to prolong today’s activities. I think they will try to stop us ... we will not use violence,” Sirawith said.
Police said around 200 protesters had gathered.
“Authorities will use the law 100 percent. If they walk out we will use the law immediately. We have put forces all around Government House ... if they come in to these areas there will be a prison sentence of up to 6 months,” deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul told reporters.
“Police have no weapons. They are carrying only batons,” he said.
Activists complained of a military crackdown ahead of the gathering.
On Monday, Sunai Phasuk, Thai researcher at the New York-based Human Rights Watch group, said two activists had been held incommunicado at a secret detention center.
“Their alleged ‘crime’ is providing loud speakers for anti-junta rally,” Sunai wrote on Twitter.
They were later released.
The junta, known as the National Council for Peace and Order, is facing a public perception crisis, according to international and domestic polls that say corruption is as endemic as ever.
The government has also repeatedly delayed the general election, which was first tentatively set for 2015, with the latest date now February 2019.
Some fear the date could be pushed back again.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters gathered at Government House the protesters were welcome to send a representative to the prime minister’s office.
“The prime minister works hard ... the NCPO these four years has worked every day ... All NCPO members have worked hard,” Prawit said.
Suchada Saebae, 55, a market vendor, disagreed.
“I came since 6 a.m. this morning because I think the NCPO has done a rubbish job these past four years,” Suchada said.
Some protesters held Thai flags and others held signs with cartoons of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha as Pinocchio.
Protests against military rule have taken place intermittently in Bangkok since the start of the year.
Some of them have been led by young activists. Others have been attended by former “red shirts,” or supporters of ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in 2006 and fled abroad.
His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was ousted in the 2014 coup and also fled abroad before being convicted in absentia of corruption.
Thailand has been rocked by pro- and anti-government street protests for more than a decade, some of them deadly.
The military says it carried out the 2014 coup to end the cycle of violence.