Delhi’s wait for RRTS gets longer

DMRC yet to submit report on how it can be integrated with existing systems in Delhi

February 15, 2014 04:32 pm | Updated October 18, 2016 02:42 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

There is no telling when the Centre's much touted Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS), which was aimed at connecting the national capital with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh by 2016, will finally take off.

Even as the Delhi administration is yet to take a call on whether or not the high-speed rail will be allowed into city limits, the emerging political situation in Delhi has put paid to plans of commencing work ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation that was given the task of preparing a feasibility report to work out the integration of the RRTS with Delhi's existing modes of transport is yet to table the study.

After the initial hiccups on account of land acquisition, fund raising and ironing out differences between various States, the multi-crore project has been put on hold after the Delhi Government objected to

the RRTS entering the city limits, proposing the system should be limited to the outskirts.

"The DMRC was asked to submit a report by January 31, on how the RRTS could be integrated with the Metro and other forms of transport in Delhi, because the Congress-led city government after agreeing to be a part of the RRTS had backtracked on the issue of allowing the high-speed trains to enter Delhi. Their contention was that the system will add to the chaos and congestion on Delhi roads," said an official

of the Union Urban Development Ministry.

The Ministry, along with the other States, is of the view that unless RRTS is seamlessly integrated with the Metro and the bus service in Delhi, there will not be many takers for the new system. "If travellers have to switch modes from the border to enter the city, it will defeat the purpose of having a high-speed rail network. Delhi is being persuaded to change its stance, unfortunately the political situation in Delhi has also put a question mark on the fate of the project," said the official.

In the first phase the RRTS will connect Delhi with Panipat, Alwar and Meerut and the implementation work will be carried out by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTC), with an initial

corpus of Rs. 100 crore.

Recently, two additional corridors — Delhi-Bahadurgarh-Rohtak-Hissar corridor and the Delhi-Shahadra-Baraut corridor — were identified for expansion of the RRTS. Keen to use RRTS as a development poll plank, Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath had suggested that these corridors be taken up on priority basis for feasibility studies.

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