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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Metro rail or BRTS? Report by weekend

Hindustan Times  Lucknow, February 06, 2013
First Published: 14:10 IST(6/2/2013) | Last Updated: 14:24 IST(6/2/2013)

The four-member team, which had gone to Ahemdabad and Hyderabad to make a comparative study of Metro Rail and Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), is expected to submit its report by the weekend.Principal secretary Pravir Kumar, secretary to chief minister Anita Singh, secretary (finance) Deshraj and a senior planner Ravi Jain spent over two days, meeting the officials of Hyderabad Metro Rail and Ahemdabad Municipal Corporation which oversees the BRTS service.

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On Tuesday, Kumar and Singh met chief secretary Jawed Usmani and reportedly briefed him informally about their findings. “We are preparing a report and a presentation of the advantages, constraints and inherent pitfalls of both mass rapid transit systems would be done before the CM, who would take a final call,” said a senior officer. The CM is reportedly keen on procuring the metro rail system but initial feedback from the team does not paint a positive picture. “Larsen and Toubro is implementing the project in Hyderabad on Public-Private Partnership pattern. They will run the system on an elevated 71-kilometre track that will cater to a population of three cities with a combined population of around 90 lakh,” said an official.

The size of the population gives them an advantage of maximum funding from the Government of India and the Planning Commission. “The state’s share in their case is almost negligible,” he said, adding, “in our case we would have to pitch in with at least 20% of the total project cost.” The feasibility of the project depends on many factors most important among them are the distance required for travel and the ridership demand. “That is the number of daily commuters, who would use the service.

In technical parlance we call it peak hour peak density traffic (PHPDT). We need at least 40,000 commuters daily against which our projected PHPDT till 2015 is just 4,700, the official pointed out. Besides, the elevated system though low on cost has another drawback in Lucknow where the proposed alignment comes in conflict with certain protected sites and monument and passes through areas termed as high security zones,” he said. “It’s not that the case for BRTS is any stronger. We do not seem to have enough Right of Way (ROW) on most of the city arteries where the bus service has been proposed,” he said.


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