To enhance the connectivity in the National Capital Region (NCR), the government has allocated ₹2,487 crore to the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), agency for developing the country’s first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project. The allocation announcement came as a part of the budget last week presented by Finance Minister.
In 2018-19, the NCRTC received an initial budget of ₹100 crore, for 2019-20 provided ₹974 crore and the revised Budget provided ₹824 crore to the NCRTC. However, the 2020-21 Budget has provided ₹2,487 crore for the project—thus ensuring the project is expedited.
With an operational speed of 160 km/h, high-speed RRTS trains will run on elevated and underground corridors and aim to cover the distance between Delhi and Meerut within 60 minutes.
The first 82 km stretch between Delhi, Ghaziabad and Meerut is under construction. A 17 km section (Sahibabad to Duhai) in Ghaziabad has been identified as a priority stretch and is scheduled to get completed by March 2023. The entire Delhi to Meerut route is scheduled to open in March 2025.
The tender for Duhai to Shatabdipuram (Meerut) has been floated and will also be finalised soon. Tenders for rolling stock, rail supply and the RRTS’s first underground section between New Ashok Nagar in East Delhi and Sahibabad in Ghaziabad have also been floated,” an official source said.
The entire project is pegged at ₹30,274 crore, and sources said that an agreement for a loan of about ₹15,000 crore for the project is likely to be signed in the next three or four months.
Of the eight identified RRTS corridors to connect NCR towns, three have been prioritised for implementation in Phase 1 by the Planning Commission-appointed task force. The three routes are—Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut, Delhi-Gurugram-Shahjahanpur-Neemrana-Behror Urban Complex-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat.
The Delhi-Meerut RRTS corridor consisting total 22 railway stations (including 6 stations of Meerut Metro Rail Project) will connect Delhi to Meerut through a rapid rail network. The estimated 82 km long network will pass through one of the most densely populated sections of the NCR connecting Delhi to Uttar Pradesh.
Alongside, India is set to receive financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) toward the cost of Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Project and it intends to apply part of the proceeds of this financing to payments under the contract named above.
NCRTC is a joint venture undertaking of Govt of India and States of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, under the administrative control of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.