The Centre’s ambitious plan to run high-speed bullet trains on dedicated tracks connecting Delhi with its adjoining satellite towns of Meerut, Panipat and Alwar in less than half the time that it takes now, seems to be slowly inching towards reality.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday is likely to approve the setting up of a company —National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) — to execute the Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS) with an initial fund of R100 crore. Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan which are part of the NCR, will contribute 50% of the R100 crore.
As of now, three corridors of the RRTS have been finalised. These include Delhi-Meerut, Delhi-Panipat and Delhi-Alwar. The project will cost R75,000 crore. As part of this, new broad gauge tracks would be laid in Delhi and its three neighbouring states on which the high-speed air -conditioned trains would run. It would cover a distance of 90 km between Delhi and Meerut in 63 minutes, Delhi and Alwar (188 km) in 117 minutes and Delhi and Panipat (109 km) in 61 minutes.
This will be the first phase of the RRTS and is expected to become operational by 2015. In the second phase five other corridors would be connected.
While a majority of the track in Delhi would be underground, in the other states it would be a mix of elevated, on ground and underground tracks.Initially, each of the trains will have six coaches which will later be upgraded to nine coaches. The project will be funded jointly by the Centre and respective state governments.
In Delhi, multi-modal stations will be provided which will integrate the RRTS with Delhi Metro and DTC for faster dispersal of passengers. Feeder services will be provided at the respective stations to facilitate passengers.