New Delhi: The union Cabinet has approved infrastructure projects, including a metro rail network in Chennai, estimated to cost Rs33,400 crore in total, a government spokesman said on Thursday.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the widening of about 1410 km of highways.
The spokesman said private firms would be roped in for these road projects, expected to cost about Rs18,238 crore.
The cabinet also approved the first phase of the Chennai Metro Rail project, covering about 45 km at a cost of Rs14,600 crore, he said.
The project is held by the Chennai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, an equal joint venture between the federal and state governments.
The government plans to raise 70% of the funds required for the metro project, expected to be completed by 2014-15, through debt.
It is likely to earn a total revenue of Rs436 crore in its first year of operation, he added.
India has stepped up its spending on infrastructure as part of its efforts to stimulate an economy sagging in the wake of the global economic slowdown and high borrowing costs.
Last year, Indian authorities announced a stimulus package worth Rs20,000 crore, a cut in factory gate duty rates by 4 percentage points and in key interest rates by 350 basis points.