NEW DELHI: Daily commuters from satellite towns can look forward to a hassle-free ride into the Capital with the urban development ministry “in-principle” okaying the rail-based Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) to provide fast connectivity from places like Meerut, Alwar and Panipat.
The integrated system – involving new railway lines, Metros, bus clusters and terminals – is aimed to provide a smooth travelling experience to lakhs of people who commute to Delhi every day for work. It is also expected to considerably ease traffic congestion in the Capital and check migration.
“Faster connectivity will reduce pressure on the Capital’s infrastructure by opening up the region including regional housing market,” urban development minister Kamal Nath said, emphasizing that RRTS should be integrated with the Delhi Metro.
The long-pending transport system, to be built over the next 25 years, will come up on three corridors – Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut, Delhi-Gurgaon-Alwar and Delhi-Sonepat-Panipat.
As the project will be very capital intensive, the minister has directed the National Capital Region (NCR) Planning Board to explore innovative funding mechanisms like exploiting transit-oriented development potential, monetization of land and PPP model.
The move to develop an extended transport infrastructure has been necessitated by rising traffic volumes, which include more than 3.5 lakh passenger cars entering the NCR every day.
Nath said it was necessary to focus on the sub-urbanization process and infrastructure development outside Delhi to enable other areas of NCR to absorb the load on the Capital’s resources.
NCR Planning Board has been asked to take the lead in planning and developing greenfield townships on these transport corridors in partnership with the state governments concerned.
The board signed an agreement in June with Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and UP to set up a separate body — NCR Transport Corporation (NCRTC) — to improve transport interconnectivity in the NCR. The new body will monitor and implement a comprehensive public transportation plan for the region.
The NCRTC “will be responsible for overall development of integrated multi-modal transport system, including rapid rail transit system (suburban rail system) and feeder bus services in the NCR”. It will have representatives of the four state governments, urban development ministry and railways.
Centre’s contribution to the corporation is 50% and each state is required to invest 12.5% equity each.