E Sreedharan, the former Delhi Metro chief, has slammed the Union urban development ministry’s planned monorail project in the Capital, describing the proposal as unfit for the fast-growing metropolis.
"A monorail network will be a massive financial burden on the government. Its carrying capacity will be just a third of that of the Delhi Metro, but its operating costs will be at least 50% higher," Sreedharan said.
Such a network at the cost of the Delhi Metro’s expansion will be an “erroneous move” by the government, he said.
The union urban development minister, Kamal Nath, had on August 27 asked the Delhi government to plan and propose 14 monorail corridors.
Sreedharan felt the government should expand the nearly 260km Delhi Metro in two more phases after the ongoing Phase 3 was completed.
Phase 3 will add 140km to the Metro network. Sources said the government could reduce the length of the proposed 115km Phase 4 or build monorail corridors instead.
"This step could be taken in the wake of a major land crunch," a source said.
At a recent news conference, chief minister Sheila Dikshit had emphasised the need to take the monorail network to areas that have not had improvement in their transport infrastructure. "The monorail network would offer another smart mode of transportation," she had declared.
"The monorail can at best act as a feeder service for the Delhi Metro, but not as another mode of public transport," Sreedharan had recently said.
While at the helm of the Delhi Metro, Sreedharan had opposed the Delhi government’s plan to build 60km-long monorail corridors ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010. The project had not taken off.