Jaipur, Sep 21 (IANS) Metro rail projects are a viable option to deal with the problem of lack of public transportation with increasing urbanization in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday as he laid the foundation stone for the Metro phase-I here.
He earlier also dedicated to the nation a solar power plant constructed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in the Rajasthan capital.
The work on Jaipur Metro's underground corridor, proposed from Chandpole to Badi Chaupar in Jaipur, will begin soon and is expected to cost around Rs.507 crore.
"Cities are the engines of economic development in the country. Sixty percent of the GDP is contributed by the urban areas. As per an estimate, about 60 crore people will be living in cities by 2031. The increasing urbanisation brings with it several challenges. Public transportation is one of them," said Manmohan Singh.
Metro is a viable solution to deal with the lack of public transport, he noted.
"I have heard that Jaipur has largest number of two-wheelers in the country. It shows the lack of good public transport system. Jaipur Metro will root out the problem of public transport here," the prime minister said.
He also stressed that availability of energy on reasonable prices is essential for country's fast development.
"The need for energy has increased in the past decade. Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is among the eight missions which are being implemented as part of national action plan to deal with the challenge of climate change. The plan was started in 2010. By 2020, we aim to produce 20,000 MW grid connected solar energy," he said.
He added that the capacity of solar energy projects which connected with the grid has reached 1,970 MW.
"I want to use this occasion to mention the ambitious Delhi-Jaipur Expressway Project. We have started work towards implementing this project. Both the states concerned have given their nod to it in principal. The travel between Delhi and Jaipur will take only two hours after completion of this expressway project," he said.
While appreciating several public welfare projects including Mid Day Meal and National Rural Health Mission, the prime minister said that the expressway is one of the examples of efforts made by the UPA government towards welfare of the common men in the past nine years.
Union New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah said that the solar energy is a necessity for country's fast development.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also addressed the gathering on this occasion.