In a significant move, the Haryana government has decided to partner with Chandigarh in the ambitious Metro rail project.
The total length of the project covering Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar is 37.57km with an estimated cost of R10,900 crore, which would be shared between the Centre, UT administration and governments of Punjab and Haryana.
However, a senior official of Haryana urban development department has said that Haryana government plans to invest around R650 crore in the project in the form of equity. "The profit and loss will be shared between Chandigarh and Haryana," the official said.
Unlike Haryana, Punjab government would only bear the cost of the project falling in its jurisdiction. The Punjab cabinet has already approved the link between SAS Nagar and Chandigarh. The UT on the other hand plans to take a loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency, which also provided the loan for the Delhi Metro project.
The final decision on the move of Haryana government would be taken in the coordination committee meeting of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana with the ministry of urban development (MUD) in New Delhi on May 26.
Last year, the administration had submitted the detailed project report to the MUD for approval, which is still pending.
Project at a glance
The Metro rail project is expected to change how commuters travel in the tricity region. Covering a distance of 12.49 kilometres, the first corridor of Metro rail will stretch from Chandigarh's Capitol Complex to SAS Nagar's Sector 70, of this, 4.97 km will fall in SAS Nagar.
The project's second corridor will start from Mullanpur and end at the grain market in Panchkula's Sector 20 - its length will be 25.7 km. The first corridor is expected to be operational by 2018. Here is how the project is expected to benefit tricity residents:
Once operational, the first corridor is expected to provide benefits of more than R11,000 crore by 2026.
As per the detailed project report (DPR), the Metro will lead to savings on components such as fuel spent on personal vehicles, vehicle operating cost (VOC), their environmental impact, vehicles' accident cost, maintenance cost of traffic infrastructure and cost of time spent by residents in driving their personal vehicles.
Passengers are expected to save R1,054 crore on fuel and R1,282 on operating cost of vehicle such as bus, two-wheeler, car and three-wheeler.