Monorail and Light Rail Transit (LRT) system is out of Delhi government’s priority list.
The government’s Rs 3069 crore budget for transport for 2009-10, which revolves around the Commonwealth Games, fails to even mention the two alternate modes of public transport.
First conceived in 2004, the Delhi government had proposed to construct three corridors each of monorail and LRT before the Commonwealth Games 2010.
While monorail was planned as feeder to the Metro system, LRT was proposed as an effective and fast mode of transport for congested wall city areas of the Capital.
While Delhi Finance Minister Dr A.K. Walia detailed the under-construction metro network and Delhi Transport Corporation’s plan to acquire more low-floor and semi-low floor buses to strengthen public transport system, he conveniently ignored to mention the monorail and LRT.
Delhi government has set aside Rs 3,069 crore to strengthen public transport system during the financial year 2009-2010. The cost of monorail was estimated at Rs 6893 crore rupees, and the total project cost of LRT was calculated at Rs 5,738 crore.
While Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, a senior Delhi government official said the two projects entail huge investment, which the government cannot afford right now.
“We are already drawing very close to the Commonwealth Games and the government’s priority is to complete the ongoing projects instead of trying new projects,” the official said, who did not want to be quoted.
The Delhi government had spent Rs 20 crore to prepare detailed project report (DPR) for the two modes of transport. Senior Delhi government officials confirm that DPRs are ready but were never tabled for discussion.
Officials said both the projects had the deadline of the Commonwealth Games.