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November 27, 2012

Rapid rail cost: 72,000 cr, NCRPB proposes to develop TODs close to the RRTS stretches

New Delhi:The government’s ambitious plan to connect three major locations in the National Capital Region (NCR) with Delhi through rapid rail would need at least Rs 72,000 crore investment. The urban development ministry is likely to submit this before Parliament during the current session as a part of the annual report of NCR Planning Board (NCRPB). 
    The investment has been calculated as per September 2011 prices. Though there is little chance of the rapid rail transit system (RRTS) becoming functional in the next four years, the planning board in its report has mentioned the ridership of these lines starting from 2016. Sources said huge capital investment and from where this amount would 
come have been major concerns for the government. These have been the main reasons behind the UD ministry still not been able to circulate a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultation. 
    There are reports that Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has talked about treating RRTS as a national project and thereby hinting at the need of the Centre funding the entire project. Sources said such a proposition would be tough and there is a need of states to share the burden to provide better and faster connectivity to people living in these states. 
    The three lines identified would join Delhi with Alwar (via Gurgaon), Meerut (via Ghaziabad) and Panipat (via Sonipat). While Delhi-Alwar would be the longest route covering 180 km, Delhi-Panipat 
would be 111.2 km and the shortest, Delhi-Meerut, would be 90.2 km. 
    On the lines of Delhi planning to develop transit oriented corridors (TODs) along the exiting Metro lines, the NCRPB also proposes to develop TODs close to the RRTS stretches. TODs allow intensive residential and commercial development. The planning board proposes TODs at three locations on the Delhi-Panipat stretch, nine on Delhi-Alwar corridor and four on Delhi-Meerut line. 
    The projections of ridership suggest that people taking these trains would be close to 22.2 lakh. “There is a need to take a decision fast as we cannot avoid putting a robust inter-city transport system. Any delay would mean that cost would go up further,” said a Haryana government official.

Source: TOI (Pg.3, 26 Nov 2012) 

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