The Narendra Modi-led BJP government is actively considering a proposal to introduce Light Rail Transit Systems (LRT) in tier-II cities of India. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has submitted a report to that effect to the Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
These new light metro rail system would cost nearly 70 per cent less than the metro rails that are being built in cities across the country.
Talking about this project, Naidu said they are studying the report submitted by DMRC and added:
“We will study it and will decide on implementing it. There is a lot of demand for metro rail from tier ll cities because of traffic congestion and concern about pollution. And high cost is a problem. A kilometre of underground costs Rs 400 crore and elevated line costs Rs 200 crore.”
Mangu Singh, managing director of DMRC said that these light metro rail will be ideal for small cities like Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode which are interested in having their own metro projects.
Naidu also said that his ministry has been wanting to make metro rail more viable for people as ‘it is clean, green and helps people avoid traffic congestion.’
Naidu also disclosed that his ministry has be asking to relax certain rules, so as to allow more companies to compete for metro rail contracts.
With the development of many smart cities across the country, Naidu has also been encouraging to boost public transport to make the cities more liveable.
Besides Delhi, Metro rail projects are underway in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Nagpur, Ghaziabad, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.
Speaking at the function organised to flag off the first metro rail coach for Kochi Metro Rail, Naidu said that not only the coach’s delivery was the fastest in the country, it was also the most indigenised as 70 per cent of the metro coach components have been made in India. The first metro coach for Kochi has been delivered five months ahead of its schedule as DMRC wants to take the train on viaduct for trials in February itself and thus have requested advance delivery of the rest of the coaches.
The official also added that even the first metro coach for Lucknow will be done at least two months in advance, so that trials on that stretch could start soon as well.
Besides cheaper metro coaches, Naidu also said that his ministry would lay stress on parking pricing, multi modal integration at metro stations, railway stations and bus terminals, bicycle sharing system, bicycle tracks, improvement of bus services, BRTS corridors, intelligent transport system and unified metropolitan transport system to resolve congestion in the cities.
Metro rail facilities available in tier II cities will not only reduce pollution, it will also make the city more accessible and at par with the metropolitan cities in India with regards to its transportation.