Delhi

The road ahead

Sarai Kale Khan is geographically hemmed in between an inter-State expressway, an upcoming metro station, an under-construction extension of the yet-to-materialise phase-III of Barapullah flyover and a railway station.   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

Can you imagine the clogged stretches of Anand Vihar, Kashmere Gate and Sarai Kale Khan transforming into a cradle for rapid public transportation services both within the Capital and beyond? It might one day become a reality.

Described as a mammoth feat of engineering which has “good potential” and is well within the grasp of reality, the idea has been mooted by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), said sources.

Incorporated in 2013, the NCRTC was constituted to implement the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The Centre and the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan are part of the NCRTC.

Sarai Kale Khan is geographically hemmed in between an inter-State expressway, an upcoming metro station, an under-construction extension of the yet-to-materialise phase-III of Barapullah flyover and a railway station.

Sarai Kale Khan is geographically hemmed in between an inter-State expressway, an upcoming metro station, an under-construction extension of the yet-to-materialise phase-III of Barapullah flyover and a railway station.   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

 

Multi-crore dream

The corporation was mandated with creation of the first-of-its-kind project in the country, which will require nearly 120 government agencies from across several northern States to work in sync for successful materialisation of their joint multi-crore dream.

Sarai Kale Khan is geographically hemmed in between an inter-State expressway, an upcoming metro station, an under-construction extension of the yet-to-materialise phase-III of Barapullah flyover and a railway station. Anand Vihar and Kashmere Gate too have similar profiles.

One of these three areas could emerge as the core of one of the most ambitious high-speed inter-State public transportation networks in India — the Capital’s lifeline to Meerut, Panipat and Alwar — in the coming decade.

An interoperable hub

An elevated RRTS station will be the backbone of the first phase of the project. The Delhi-Meerut corridor will be the first to come up, at a cost of ₹34,697 crore.

“All three RRTS corridors [Delhi-Meerut, Delhi-Panipat and Delhi-Alwar] will be interoperable,” NCRTC Chief Public Relations Officer Sudhir Kumar Sharma told The Hindu.

“Teams from both the NCRTC and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation [DMRC] are working in coordination for integration of the RRTS and metro stations, seven of which will be intersected by the RRTS corridors. While RRTS will act as the backbone for regional transportation, the Delhi Metro lines will complement it by providing feeder and dispersal services,” Mr. Sharma added.

Elevated walkways, foot overbridges, lifts and escalators will link elevated RRTS station with nearby metro station, an inter-State bus terminal and a railway station.

The road ahead

Challenges abound

Experts have noted that in addition to space constraints in the Capital, integration with existing or upcoming modes of public transportation and issues related to last-mile connectivity will emerge as challenges for government agencies.

“Given the fact that Ring Road has relatively more space compared to Anand Vihar and Kashmere Gate, which also have access to the metro, inter-State bus terminals and the railways, Sarai Kale Khan appears to be the correct choice for creation of a multi-modal hub,” said Professor P. K. Sarkar, Director (Transport), Asian Institute of Transport Development.

Citing the example of Japan, where the bullet train network is both interoperable and connected to the local metro rail network, Prof. Sarkar added that though it was certainly “a great engineering challenge”, the Ring Road certainly had the potential to host such a hub.

He, however, added that the hub would be a success only if it was ensured that commuters did not have to wait for more than 10 minutes to switch mode of public transportation.

S. Velmurugan, senior principal scientist (traffic engineering and safety division), Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), said integration with existing modes of public transport was “a critical parameter” for the success of the proposed project.

“It is a good initiative. Both Anand Vihar and Sarai Kale Khan have huge potential in this respect. But it may not be able to work the way it is proposed at any other location than Sarai Kale Khan,” he said.

“Still, challenges will emerge in the form of integration required and the issue of last-mile connectivity, both of which must be provided. As per norms, 50-100 metres is all a passenger can be expected to travel to change from one mode of transportation to another,” he added.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 9:03:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/the-road-ahead/article23722708.ece

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