RapidX billed as major linking system, but some travellers want full operations

‘Priority section’ to start on October 20; 2025 set as deadline to make entire corridor operational

October 18, 2023 01:33 am | Updated October 19, 2023 04:07 pm IST - New Delhi

An official of the nodal agency of RapidX said it would connect Delhi’s peripheries to the city’s densely populated parts. 

An official of the nodal agency of RapidX said it would connect Delhi’s peripheries to the city’s densely populated parts.  | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

The maiden voyage of the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), also known as RapidX, on October 20 will cover five stations from Sahibabad to Duhai Depot.

However, operations on this ‘priority section’ of the high-speed railway network might not be of much use as it does not connect the major parts of the National Capital Region (NCR), said some commuters who frequent the areas around Delhi.

Also Read | All set for launch, RapidX offers high-speed travel, modern amenities at affordable price

Yet, the launch of the nation’s fastest inter-state transit system will bring much-needed relief for a majority of travellers, who are looking forward to the entire RRTS corridor becoming operational.

82-km length

The trainset of the Delhi-Meerut RRTS boasts an average speed of 100 km/hr. The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), the nodal agency of RapidX, has set 2025 as the deadline for the entire 82-km corridor to be operational.

Covering this distance in under 60 minutes will be a weight off her shoulders for Anchal Rastogi, an ad hoc professor at Delhi University.

Also Read | Operations on first stretch of Delhi-Meerut RRTS corridor to start by March

“Once the entire corridor is functional, I will consider moving back to my parents’ place in Meerut. It will not only save me money that is spent on rent but also allow me to take better care of my ailing parents,” the 30-year-old said.

The Delhi-Meerut Expressway, which was opened in 2021, eased travel between Delhi and Meerut, but not to other parts of Uttar Pradesh like Modinagar, Sahibabad, and Duhai. Ishita Narain, who drives from Modinagar to her workplace in Delhi’s Saket, said RapidX gives her an alternative. “With the added comfort of air conditioning and speed, it will let me work or read during the commute,” she added.

Meerut resident Anil Sharma said that starting with the priority stretch does not make much difference to him. The 52-year-old spends nearly ₹150 per trip at least thrice a week to travel to Delhi in buses, which are poorly maintained and often break down.

Rajat Sharma said a fully operational RapidX would mean he can move to a cheaper housing option in the NCR. The 35-year-old currently pays a monthly rent of ₹32,000 for a 2-BHK house in Delhi

Decongesting Delhi

Puneet Vats, chief spokesperson, NCRTC, said the objective of the RRTS is not only to decongest Delhi’s arterial roads but the Capital itself.

“People will be able to rent or own properties in low population density areas and commute to work to Delhi, without having to compromise on the kind of space they want to inhabit,” he told The Hindu.

A senior NCRTC official said the National Capital Region Planning Board was formed in 1985 with the vision of connecting Delhi’s peripheries to the densely populated parts of the Capital. But it did not succeed due to the lack of a high-speed transit option.

“However, the development of the RRTS corridor will make it possible,” he added.

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