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Monorail to reduce congestion, accidents

S. Anil Radhakrishnan
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MRTS can carry up to 20,000 people an hour: Natpac study

Monorail, a mass rapid transit system (MRTS) mooted for the city, is expected to reduce dependence on personalised modes of transport and take away 40 per cent of the present vehicular traffic off the road.

The monorail has been proposed for the 41.8-km Pallippuram-Neyyattinkara corridor as part of a long-term and economical solution to the transportation problems faced by the people.

At present, 7,500 people travel in an hour in one direction in the city, and this is likely to go up to 15,000 in the next 10 years. The monorail can carry up to 20,000 people in an hour in one direction during peak hours, and has been found the best mode of transport for a medium-sized city like Thiruvananthapuram, according to a feasibility study being finalised by the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (Natpac).

Transport planners said the decrease in dependence on personalised modes of transport as a result of the introduction of the monorail would bring down the number of road accidents. The proposal to provide 100 low-floor buses as feeder service to the monorail would ensure connectivity.

The project will be implemented in two phases with the first phase extending from Pallippuram to Thampanoor (22.2 km) and the second phase from Thampanoor to Neyyattinkara (19.6 km).

Highly placed sources told The Hindu that the likely delay in getting permission from Railways for the monorail to cross the railway line at Thampanoor had forced the authorities to execute the project in two phases.

Pallippuram had been selected as the starting point and depot taking into account future needs such as the proposed Technocity and rapid urbanisation. As the government had agreed to give 1.5 to 2 hectares in the proposed Technocity for the project, land acquisition would not be a problem for the yard for the monorail.

Sources said efforts were on to identify government land on the Balaramapuram-Neyyattinkara stretch for the monorail.

35 stops identified

The project is estimated to cost Rs.6,270 crore, taking into account the Rs.150 crore needed for one km of the corridor and the cost of providing low-floor bus connectivity. As many as 35 stops have been identified with multi-storeyed parking lots in the stations. The MRTS will move through Kesavadasapuram, Pattom, Palayam, Statue, and Overbridge to reach Thampanoor.

In monorail, the train runs on a narrow guideway beam, wheels of which are gripped laterally on either side of the beam. Though the platforms proposed will be able to accommodate six cars, the authorities have proposed only four cars in the initial phase. Once Natpac submits the report at the end of the month, the government will have to think about the mode of implementation.

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