Union ministry green-lights Tricity metro project - Hindustan Times
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Union ministry green-lights Tricity metro project

By, Chandigarh
Jun 26, 2023 05:29 AM IST

The Metro proposal, as readied by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES), will tackle Tricity’s burgeoning traffic chaos. RITES has proposed a 39-km metro network, spread across Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula while steering clear of the heritage sectors – Sector 1 to 30.

The Union ministry of housing and urban affairs has given the green signal for the Tricity metro project, a month after it received the comprehensive mobility plan (CMP).

The Union ministry of housing and urban affairs has given the green signal for the Tricity metro project, a month after it received the comprehensive mobility plan (CMP). (HT File)
The Union ministry of housing and urban affairs has given the green signal for the Tricity metro project, a month after it received the comprehensive mobility plan (CMP). (HT File)

A senior UT official said, “We have got a nod from the ministry, stating that they do not have any objection to the project. The ministry had asked the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) phase-wise, which will be again sent to the ministry for funds.”

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The Metro proposal, as readied by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES), will tackle Tricity’s burgeoning traffic chaos. RITES has proposed a 39-km metro network, spread across Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula while steering clear of the heritage sectors – Sector 1 to 30.

Expected to cost 10,570 crore, the mass rapid transport system (MRTS) will also comprise bus terminals, bus depots and geometrical improvements at busy intersections, among others.

In April this year, Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab accorded in-principle approval to the comprehensive mobility plan (CMP) for the tricity, prepared by RITES.

The final metro network comprises two phases, spread across Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula and also Zirakpur, New Chandigarh and Pinjore.

In the first phase, which will be developed between 2027 and 2037, the MRTS will run from Sarangpur to Panchkula ISBT; Rock Garden to Zirakpur ISBT via Mohali Industrial Area and airport; and from Grain Market Chowk, Sector 39, to Transport Nagar, Sector 26.

The second phase, to be developed after 2037, will cover four routes: Panchkula ISBT to Panchkula Extension; Paraul, New Chandigarh to Sarangpur; Airport Chowk to Manakpur Kallar; and Zirakpur ISBT to Pinjore ISBT.

In line with RITES proposal for a robust local bus network, to encourage more people to switch to public transport and ensure smooth flow of traffic, UT has also finalised seven straight bus corridors criss-crossing through the tricity.

RITES had found that these seven corridors — Sector 43 ISBT to New Chandigarh; Sector 17 ISBT to Mansa Devi Complex; Sector 43 ISBT to Panchkula ISBT; Sector 17 ISBT to Kharar ISBT; PGIMER/Dadumajra to Zirakpur ISBT; PGIMER to ISBT Panchkula; ISBT Kharar to ISBT Zirakpur — have the maximum traffic flow.

Nearly 14 years after it was first mooted, the Punjab and Haryana governments, and the Chandigarh administration, had given the Metro project their in-principle nod during a meeting on CMP on March 16.

The mobility plan readied by RITES has been divided into short, medium and long-term transport improvement proposals, with focus on improving parking management, junctions, pedestrian infrastructure, road infrastructure, local bus system, intermodal interchanges and integrated freight complexes.

With a population of over 12 lakh and 15 lakh registered vehicles, Chandigarh has the highest density of vehicles per household in the country, leading to acute traffic problems. Then, over 2 lakh vehicles moving on tricity and inter-state routes also cross the city daily, exacerbating the congestion.

The comprehensive mobility plan, allotted to RITES Limited in December 2021, is aimed at resolving this burgeoning problem.

Metro plan rejected by central govt previously

Notably, RITES had also recommended Metro in its first report readied in 2009. But eight years later, the Union home ministry had rejected the project in 2017 and asked the UT administration to look for alternative models of transport. The ministry’s contention was that Metro was not viable in Chandigarh due to the city’s size. Also, its 14,000-crore cost was not financially feasible.

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