On the right track

The MRTS might soon ease the burden of vehicular pollution and traffic in Delhi

Published: Saturday 15 March 1997

the much-publicised mass rapid transit system (mrts) has finally been cleared by the Delhi government. According to Tejinder Khanna, lieutenant-governor of Delhi, work on the project would start as soon as this year's rainy season is over -- around October. The whole system would cost around Rs 4,800 crore.

The proposed network is expected to cut down travel time of commuters by about 30 per cent and also lead to less traffic load on the city roads and, consequently less pollution. "It is the lack of a good public transport system that generates so many cars and scooters on the road," said T M Vinod Kumar, head of the urban planning department, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.

The mrts network would cover 184.5 km, consisting of nine major segments (see table). The system is predominantly rail-based, having both surface and underground railway corridors. It will have 19 interchange points between the nine lines and with interstate rail and bus terminals. Re-routing of existing bus services to act as feeder services to the mrts has also been prepared.

Referring to the Delhi government's initial complaint of lack of funds to set up the mrts, Khanna said that financing would not be a problem. "The Centre has promised Rs 50 crore for the project," he said, "And the Delhi government would provide sufficient funds in this year's budget. We are also hopeful of considerable foreign investment. The Japanese Overseas Cooperation Fund, for one, is willing to fund the mrts, provided some initial steps are taken by the Delhi administration."

But the major part of the funds would come from the commercial exploitation of lands lying in the proposed mrts area. "Starting early this fiscal year, we shall start land acquisition proceedings for the surface sections," he said.

Mass Rapid Transport System
The nine segments of the proposed network would connect a
large part of Delhi
Corridor from To Via Length(km)
Nangloi Shahdara ISBT 23
Tilak Bridge Patel Nagar Rajiv Chowk 12
Delhi University(North) Sewa Nagar Rajiv Chowk 15
Patel Nagar Najafgarh Shivaji Marg 17.5
Narela New Azadpur
subzi Mandi
Azad pur 25
Nizamuddin Barwala Sarojini Nagar 36
Bijwasan Dayabasti Patel Nagar 20
Tughlakabad Tilak Bridge Nizamuddin 17
Shahdara Tilak Bridge Vivek Vihar 19
Total     184.5
Source: Anon, 1993, Integrated Multimodal Mass Rapid Transport System for Delhi, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, mimeo

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