New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday approved the setting up of a committee to lay down the standards for metro rail systems across the country. The committee will be headed by ‘metro man of India’, E. Sreedharan.

The announcement came barely hours after the inauguration of Mundka-Bahadurgarh section of the Delhi Metro Green Line, which is part of a series of phase-III launches that are expected to add about 170km more to the capital’s metro network this year. The 11.2-km fully-elevated Bahadurgarh corridor has seven stations.

While inaugurating the new segment via video-conferencing earlier in the day, the Prime Minister said that commuters should get rid of private vehicles and opt for metro rail services. “Our priority is to build convenient, comfortable and affordable urban transport systems in our cities."

Since last year’s fare hikes, a significant fall in ridership has been a major cause of concern for the Delhi Metro.

“Our government brought out a policy relating to metros. This is because we felt that aspects relating to metro systems need greater coherence and it should work as per a basic set of standards," said Modi, adding that the government wanted to boost ‘Make in India’ by making metro coaches in the country.

“Several nations helped us in the making of Delhi Metro and other metros. Now, we are helping other nations by designing coaches for their metro systems." Modi said the process of making metro systems was also linked to cooperative federalism. “Wherever metros are being built in India, the Centre and the respective state governments are working together."

Bahadurgarh would be Delhi metro’s third foray into Haryana, after Gurugram and Faridabad. Modi said that since there were several educational centres in Bahadurgarh, students can now travel conveniently from Delhi. “The Metro will bring convenience to this part, which is considered the gateway to Haryana...We have seen how the Metro in Delhi has positively impacted the lives of citizens," Modi said.

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