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Monorail just in time for Games

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 03:11 IST
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The Delhi government has finally decided to go ahead with its ambitious monorail project in densely-populated areas of the Capital.

Evaluation of tenders for the monorail project submitted by foreign companies will be completed by next week and technical bids finalised.

Transport minister Haroon Yusuf said sanction for monorail project was in its final stages. “We hope to start monorail before the Commonwealth Games,” he said.

“We have decided to introduce it in areas like Chandni Chowk and Karol Bagh along with some east Delhi localities,” the minister told the Hindustan Times on Wednesday. Yusuf said a 48-km stretch has been identified for the first phase. "It will supplement the Metro and would be a feeder rather than a competition for the Metro," he said. Four companies from Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Switzerland have submitted their bids. All of them had earlier made presentations before the Delhi government.

According to the initial estimates of the transport department, each km of the monorail would cost Rs 40-45 crore. On an average, one coach carries 120 people and a maximum of 10 coaches can be attached to one monorail system. A monorail track can be constructed on roads that are no more than 30 feet wide. A single pillar has the diameter of only one square metre and the height of the pillar would be little more than that of a loaded truck.

The finance options too have been worked out with three possible models. The first is build, operate and transfer basis, the second is full finance by the government and the third is public-private partnership. It would take 18 months to complete the project from the start of construction.

RITES, which carried out a feasibility study of monorail and other public transport system on the recommendation of the transport department, had suggested a stretch of 48 km. Yusuf said the government would focus on areas where Metro cannot reach.

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