Government has identified the 11-km Shastri Park-Trilokpuri sector for the first line

Delhi is likely to get it first monorail by 2017, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said on Tuesday.

She said the city needs a transport system that is not only efficient and accessible, but also that will allow people to live in a healthy environment.

Speaking at a meeting on the Indo-Japan Monorail and Light Rail Transport here, Ms. Dikshit said her government had identified the 11-km Shastri Park-Trilokpuri sector for the first monorail line.

“We need to identify more corridors. Delhi would also like to welcome other means of transport, whether it is trams or something else, as long as they are air and noise pollution free and help the citizens to live in a healthy environment,” she said.

Monorail systems that can easily navigate through congested and narrow areas and have a high-carrying capacity are being touted as a means of improving connectivity, especially in those areas where buses and the Metro cannot reach.

“The Metro currently covers 192 km and carries about 22 million people everyday. The population of the city is expected to grow to 17 million by 2021 and we have to think of long-term solutions to the transport problem,” the Chief Minister said.

Ms. Dikshit said the government got a study conducted by the DMRC and the conclusion was that monorail is the answer to the problem.

Earlier, Union Minister for Urban Development Kamal Nath described the monorail as a means of supplementing the Metro in the city.

In his address, Mr. Nath said: "Monorail is not a substitute, but a supplement to the Metro service. There should be a detailed project report carried out to study how monorail can better our Metro system."

The Minister said given the advantages of monorail, several States in India have already begun working on introducing it. “Maharashtra has decided on two 20-km corridors, Delhi is actively considering an 11-km corridor, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have also shown interest.”

The monorail technology, he said, was cost effective and had many advantages like capability to be introduced in narrow roads and being able to negotiate sharp turns and steep gradients.

“It will also lessen land acquisition problems and is a quicker, easier transport system,” the Minister said.

Hoping that India can learn from Japan, where monorail has been in use for over 50 years, the Minister said this mode of transport was a viable option in small and mid-sized cities.

It is also suitable for those corridors of mega cities where the demand for a Metro is not high.

"Even the 12th Five Year Plan said there should be LRT (light rail transit) systems in million-plus cities and India has 53 of those,” Mr. Nath said.

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