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Bengal sanctions technical study for BRTS – the nation’s first

West Bengal will be the first State in the country to have the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), reports Arindam Sarkar.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2007 19:57 IST

West Bengal will be the first State in the country to have the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS). Close on the heels of Bengal are Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Bhopal who are planning to float tenders for having BRTS in the capital cities.

The announcement for starting work on Light Rail Transit (LRT-Monorail) system in the city due any day, the State government has recently sanctioned the carrying out of technical study for Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in the metro.

The State government has asked a reputed Canadian firm, McCormick Rankin International, having expertise in running BRTS in Canada to carry out a technical study for operating the BRTS on the 85-km stretch of the East-West Corridor.

Passing through some parts of the city, the BRTS would connect Basirhat in North 24 Parganas with Santragachi in Howrah. After the State government showed interest to carry out the technical study for BRTS in the city, the Canadian government got in touch with the State transport department and offered grant for the study.

This means that the technical study would not cost a penny for the State government. The BRTS would ply on the ground level on dedicated, elevated tracks. It is learnt that Rs 80 crore would be spent for the construction of one km elevated track. However, the cost of construction would be much lower when the buses ply on the ground level.

“This is the age of speed. And BRTS would not only help reduce speed but it would also help reduce the traffic pressure on the city roads. The technical study would take three-to-four months and after that the Detailed Project Report would be studied before the work begins,” said Transport Minister Subhas Chakrabarty.

The BRTS plying on Barrackpore Road and NH 24 would move from Basirhat to Belgharia, Dum Dum, Ultadanga, Paroma Island – from here the BRTS will take the new flyover and then again use the AJC Road flyover to reach Race Course. Then it would ply over the second Hooghly Bridge and the Kona Expressway to reach Santragachi.

Travelling at a speed of 130 km/hr with an aerodynamic body, each bus would carry 62 passengers. And the bus service would be every 10 minutes. It is estimated that Rs 6,000 crore would be spent for this project, but that is not a problem for the State government as Srei Capital has already come forward with lease loan.

Five months back, Srei Capital signed a MoU with McCormick Rankin International, by the virtue of which it has become the finance manager for the Canadian firm in all the BRTS projects in the city.

“After West Bengal, it would be Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. These State government have given the Expression of Interest for inviting players who can run BRTS in the metro,” informed an Srei Capital official. While the Canadian firm would conduct the technical study for BRTS, Srei would prepare the financial roadmap.

First Published: Apr 11, 2007 19:56 IST