Lucknow : Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will flag off the maiden run of the Lucknow Metro here on September 5.
The first train will be flagged off by the home minister, who represents the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat, and the chief minister from the Transport Nagar metro station. The public services will, however, start the next day. The 8.5-km-long 'Priority Corridor' from Transport Nagar to Charbagh, which is part of the Phase 1 of the project, will be operational for the public from 6 am to 10 pm everyday.
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav had flagged off the trial run on the same stretch in December last year, just ahead of the assembly elections, to showcase it as a signature project of the erstwhile Samajwadi Party government.
However, the Union home minister's presence at the event is a strong signal from the BJP that it was the Narendra Modi government at the Centre which contributed the bulk of the funds to the project.
The BJP had attacked the Akhilesh government during the assembly election campaign, asking why metro trains were not running in Lucknow.
As the matter got embroiled in politics, Akhilesh had shot back saying it was due to the delay in obtaining clearance from the commissioner, Metro Railway Safety, and had blamed the Centre for it.
The clearance finally came through recently, paving the way for commercial operations to begin. The Centre had recently cleared a new Metro Rail Policy too, mandating private investment in such projects, in order to speed up future metro projects. BSP leader Mayawati had criticised the policy.