Revival of trams in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk gets a new push | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Revival of trams in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk gets a new push

delhi Updated: Jan 24, 2017 10:16 IST
Trams in Delhi

The revival of trams in the Walled City is part of the Shahjahanabad redevelopment plan. (HT Photo)

Hopes for revival of trams in the Walled City has renewed with the high court-appointed nodal officer of Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Project directing Shahjahanad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) to prepare a comparative study of plying of trams and electric-buses (e-buses).

Earlier, the Delhi government had planned to reintroduce trams as public transport in Chandni Chowk area. However, the idea was dumped citing high infrastructure cost and the government had instead decided to ply e-buses.

Read: Dilli-6 | When trams ruled Purani Dilli

Restoring the Walled City icon
Trams were first introduced in Delhi in 1908. But the service was stopped due to congestion in 1960s
A tram runs in Khari Baoli, Chandni Chowk. (HT File)
July 2015 Delhi govt moots a proposal to restore trams in Chandni Chowk. DMRC asked to prepare a DPR
August 2015 Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and the area MLA Alka Lamba visit the area to check the feasibility
September 14, 2015 The plan was scrapped because of high infrastructure cost. The government decides to run e-buses
January 17, 2017 The HC-appointed nodal officer of Shahjahanabad redevelopment project directs Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation to prepare a comparative study of plying of trams and e-buses in the walled city
4.3 km long track
15 km/hour Speed limit
Rs 800 cr Estimated cost (excluding operation and maintenance)
6 trams proposed from Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir to Fatehpuri Mosque
300 persons: Tram capacity
No rickshaws and vehicles entry along the track

“There is a need to evolve environment friendly transport system operating on electricity/battery. The options between battery-operated buses and the tram-like system as recommended by the DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) will be discussed in the next meeting. The SRDC should prepare a comparative statement touching on the cost, capacity to handle traffic and bring it in the next meeting,” said the minutes of the meeting which held pursuant to the Delhi high court order.

The directions came during the SRDC board meeting held last week. “Both proposals are likely to be deliberated in the next meeting to be held in first week of February,” said a source.

Union science and technology minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said the money is not an issue and he will arrange funds from the Central government for the project. “The tourism and culture ministry has its own funds which it gives for various projects to promote culture and tourism. I will request the minister in-charge to allocate funds for the tram project. I will not leave this project. I have been following this for long,” said Vardhan, who is also MP from the area.

Read: After 50 years, trams likely to make a comeback in Chandni Chowk

In 2015, the DMRC was assigned the job to prepare the detailed project report (DPR) for bringing back trams in Chandni Chowk and its vicinity. Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia also visited the area to check the feasibility of the proposal.

In its report, the DMRC had found the running of trams in streets of Chandni Chowk possible. It proposed 4.3 km of tramline in the area, including 1.6 km elevated track. “Around Rs 60 lakh were spent on the study, however the proposal was scrapped in September 2015 citing high cost which was estimated at Rs 800 crore,” a senior Delhi government official.

He said, the PWD minister suggested electric buses as an alternative, which was accepted by the board despite resistance by others. “A few of members were of the opinion that to revive lost glory of old Delhi, trams should be restored. Finance department also opined before scrapping the idea of trams, a comparative study should be made. And, the decision to ply e-buses was taken. Nevertheless, no development has taken place in this regard,” he said.