After giving Delhi one of the most advanced Metro systems and a fleet of swanky air-conditioned buses, the Delhi government is mulling over introducing yet another public transport system - the Monorail.
The Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) has suggested a 10.4-km monorail corridor - from Shastri Park to Trilokpuri in east Delhi - to ease traffic and provide the National Capital an alternative mode of transport."Monorail seems a perfect mode for mass transit in congested areas such as east Delhi where Metro cannot be constructed and roads are too crowded for frequent movement of buses," Delhi Industry minister Ramakant Goswami said. "We will now take up the proposal to chief minister Sheila Dikshit, and if required, will also go to the Cabinet for its nod," Goswami added.
According to the proposal prepared by Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) - a transport and infrastructure consultancy company - the 10.4-km corridor will have 12 stations and will cut through some most congested parts of east Delhi .
"It will also integrate with three different Metro corridors at Shastri Park (Rithala-Dilshad garden line), Nirman Vihar (Anand Vihar-Dwarka line) and Trilokpuri (Mukundpur-Yamuna Vihar line in phase III). At the commissioning of the system in 2017, Monorail will have the capacity to ferry about 8,000 passengers per hour per direction and will have the daily ridership of 1.37 lakh passengers," a DSIIDC official said.
The system is likely to take about five years to complete. According to the officials, monorail can take sharp curves and can take steep grades up to 6% to cross obstructions.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that the government is contemplating monorail for the city. RITES, in one of its previous studies for transport department, had suggested three monorail corridors for Delhi. The project, however, could not take shape due to want of money.
"We understand that the government may not invest such huge money and it may not be a commercially viable option for a private company to construct and operate the system on its own. We have suggested formation of a special purpose vehicle, jointly by a private company and the government, which will raise money through soft loans," an official said.
The DSIIDC officials said that several international companies such as Scomi (which is constructing monorail in Mumbai), Bombardier (which has provided rolling stock to DMRC) and Hitachi (working on a project in Ludhiana) have shown interest in building the project.