The Jharkhand government on Saturday approved a monorail project which is expected to ease the state capital’s nightmarish traffic congestions with chief minister Raghubar Das terming it as a “comprehensive mobility plan for the next 30 years”.
If everything goes as planned, the project will take off by March 2016 and monorail will run in the city by 2019, urban development department officials said.
The monorail project will be laid on a stretch of 25 km on Ranchi’s two busy corridors — Dhurwa to Kutchery (13km) and Namkum to Piska More (12km) — and have 33 stations.
The project will come up on public-private-partnership (PPP) mode and will be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the officials added.
“Managing traffic in the state capital is a huge challenge. The project is a comprehensive mobility plan for the next 30 years,” said Das and added the government will send the `4,500 crore project proposal to the Union urban development ministry for approval.
Urban development department secretary Arun Kumar Singh said that the state-appointed consultant Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) has been asked to submit a detailed project report by December. The IDFC submitted its feasibility (detailed technology option evaluation) report on metro and monorail projects to the chief minister and urban development minister.
Managing Ranchi’s traffic had been a big challenge for the local administration as well as the government.
Traffic load in the city has increased by 240% since the creation of Jharkhand. The number of vehicles was 1.98 lakh in 2001 which has grown to 6.70 lakh this year. More than 10,000 illegal autos ply on city roads to meet demand of public transport.
To tackle this challenge, Jharkhand government had roped in IDFC four months back to prepare a comprehensive mobility plan (CMP) for Ranchi city for next 30 years.
The agency had also been entrusted with job to suggest best solution for public transport with carrying out a detailed feasibility report. “Metro rail is not ideal solution for Ranchi city, as it needs wide road and long curvature for movement, which is a big challenge here. Besides, underground route will not be cost effective due to hard rock presence. Therefore, we suggested monorail to government,” said an IDFC senior official, who is not authorised to speak to media.
He said that a monorail is usually confused with cable car, light rail or tramways. “A monorail, in simple terms, is an electric-powered bus that runs on an elevated concrete beam, which neither requires wide space nor it creates any pollution,” he said.
However, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) has raised doubts over success of the monorail in Ranchi.
“The project is not feasible due to various reasons including high operational cost, low corridor demand and land acquisition hurdle. We all know that monorail project in Maharashtra is running on loss as demand had not been analysed appropriately,” ITDP project manager Rajendra Verma said.