To expand bus rapid transit (BRT) system in the Capital, Delhi government's transport department will now approach the Centre government to fund the project.
Senior transport department officials said Delhi could get 35 per cent of the total project cost under Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme to fund the BRT expansion plans.
Delhi transport secretary R.K. Verma said the project will have to be approved by a state level committee, which vets such projects, before it could be sent to the Centre.
The decision came two days after Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced that the state government was committed to promote public transport in Delhi and constructing more BRT corridors was one of its priorities.
“We will move the proposal in the state level committee next week. Once approved, we will move it to the ministry of urban development (MoUD) along with the detailed project reports of the corridors we intend to develop,” Verma said.
The transport department plans to develop five more BRT corridors in different parts of the Capital in the next couple of years.
The new corridors would be from Karawal Nagar to Gandhi Nagar and Bhajanpura to Mori Gate (15 km), Jamia Nagar to Tilak Nagar (27km), Kondli to Gokalpuri (14.5 km), Nizamuddin to Nand Nagri (17 km) and Rajendra Nagar to Pragati Maidan (7 km).
The Capital’s first BRT corridor, the 14.5 kilometre stretch from Ambedkar Nagar to Delhi Gate, was entirely funded by the state government.
Only 5.8 km part (Ambedkar Nagar to Moolchand) of Rs 360-crore project is operational while the state government plans to make the remaining 8.7 km stretch (from Moolchand to Delhi Gate) before the Commonwealth Games in October 2010.
The construction of the five corridors, said senior transport department officials, is expected to cost about Rs 700 crore.
“While the Centre can fund up to 35 per cent of the project cost under the scheme, the state will have to bear the remaining 65 per cent,” Verma said.
The Delhi government has already approved the detailed project reports (DPR) for all five corridors.
The urban development ministry has given support to develop 422 kilometres of the BRT corridors in nine cities across the country.
A senior ministry official said Delhi’s BRT expansion plans can also be funded if they meet the criteria laid-down under the scheme including creation for a separate corpus for such projects and formation of urban mass transit authority.