RRTS project: Centre asks Delhi govt to allow elevated station
Last month, Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot had rejected the National Capital Region Transport Corporation’s (NCRTC’s), which is implementing the RRTS project, proposal to construct an elevated station at Sarai Kale Khan.Updated: Nov 02, 2018 09:07 IST
Amid the ongoing tussle between the BJP-led Centre and the Delhi government over the proposed high-speed Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), the Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri has written to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to review his government’s decision denying permission for the construction of an elevated station at Sarai Kale Khan for the ambitious project.
Last month, Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot had rejected the National Capital Region Transport Corporation’s (NCRTC’s), which is implementing the RRTS project, proposal to construct an elevated station at Sarai Kale Khan.
In a letter dated October 26, 2018 (HT has a copy of the letter), Puri has said that construction of an underground station will burden the exchequer. “The cost of the project will go up by more than R 4,000 crore, which will have to be shared by Govt. of India and GNCTD on 50:50 basis. This is totally avoidable burden on the public exchequer of the two governments.”
This is the second confrontation between the Centre and the state government over infrastructure projects. Since 2015, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC’s) Phase IV has been hanging fire as the Delhi government, despite repeated reminders by the Centre, was not approving it. Earlier this year, the Delhi government had said that three of the six routes were not financially viable. The blame game continued between the two governments. Recently, the Delhi government has agreed to approve the project.
In a bid to decongest Delhi, the Centre has planned three RRTS corridors -- Delhi-Meerut, Delhi-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat — to enable fast commute from cities around Delhi in the National Capital Region. With Sarai Kale Khan as the hub, the three priority corridors will be inter-operable and provide seamless connectivity to major transport facilities in Delhi. Of the three corridors, 82-km Delhi-Meerut corridor, constructed at a cost of R31,902 crore, will be made operational first.
According to a senior NCRTC official, the Delhi CM in July this year had given “in-principle” approval to elevated station at Sarai Kale Khan. “We don’t know what happened in the last one-and-a-half months that the government rejected the same proposal,” said the official, requesting anonymity.
When contacted, Delhi government spokesperson refused to comment on the issue.
Referring to the reason cited by Gahlot, Puri said in the letter that ISBT redevelopment work will get “further delayed” as the area has to be dug up for the underground RRTS station.
First Published: Nov 02, 2018 09:07 IST