The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved a ₹13,366-crore Metro rail project for Patna, expected to be completed in five years with two rail corridors.
The Danapur Cantt-Mithapur corridor will pass through the heart of Patna and connect densely populated areas like Raza Bazar, Secretariat, high court and Law University Railway Station. The Patna Junction-ISBT corridor will connect Gandhi Maidan, PMCH, Patna University, Rajendra Nagar, Mahatma Gandhi Setu, Transport Nagar and ISBT.
The corridors will have multimodal integration with railway stations and the ISBT station and will have a feeder network of bus, intermediate public transport (IPT) and non-motorized transport (NMT).
“The existing population of 26.23 lakh of Patna agglomeration area is expected to be benefitted by Patna Metro rail project directly and indirectly," finance minister Piyush Goyal said after a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The residential areas along this Metro rail corridor shall be immensely benefitted by this project, as the people of these areas will be able to travel on trains from their own neighbourhoods to reach different areas of the city conveniently," he said.
The cabinet also approved the allotment of 30 acres of land to the Pasteur Institute of India (PII) to set up a new vaccine unit at Coonoor in Tamil Nadu free of cost. “The allotment of land will encourage the production of life-saving vaccines for children, to strengthen the vaccine security of the country, and would reduce the cost, besides providing import substitution as presently these are being imported," said Goyal.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs also approved increasing the minimum support price (MSP) for raw jute in the 2019-20 season to ₹3,950 per quintal from ₹3,700 per quintal in the 2018-19 season.
The cabinet also approved the signing of a preliminary pact between India and Saudi Arabia on establishing a mechanism for investment in Infrastructure in India.
The cabinet approved a Bill that requires the mandatory registration of marriages of non-resident Indians (NRIs) within 30 days, whether the marriage is in India or abroad. The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj this week. The Bill aims to create more accountability and offer increased protection against exploitation of Indian women by their NRI spouses.
The Bill, which proposes to amend the Passport Act, is expected to empower the passport authority to impound or revoke the passport of an NRI, if it is brought to his notice that the NRI has not registered their marriage within 30 days of the date of marriage.
Changes to the criminal procedure code of 1973, also proposed in the same bill, are expected to empower the courts to issue summons and warrants through a specially designated website of the ministry of external affairs. It also provides provisions for attachment of properties belonging to an NRI if they fail to appear before the court and are declared as proclaimed offender by the court.