PUNJAB will be the first state in the region outside the national capital to introduce Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS). The state government on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to introduce Metro rail services in Ludhiana.
A similar rail system will also be set up at Amritsar and Mohali. Steps for which are being taken on priority. The detailed project report (DPR) of the 25 km Ludhiana Metro Rail Project will be prepared by DMRC within six months after which the project will be bid out for construction at an estimated cost of Rs 3,000 crore.
The MoU was signed here by DMRC chief engineer (consultancy) S D Sharma and Punjab Infrastructure Development Board managing director SS Sandhu.
The project is proposed to be developed through Public Private Partnership ( PPP) or Built Operate Own (BOO) mode. It is aimed to address the highly congested traffic conditions within the city. The system would also provide a variety of other benefits to the city like saving in vehicle operating costs, fuel cost, travel time and pollution.
After the DPR is released, the construction is likely to start within a year and the first phase is likely to be completed within four years, a spokesperson said. Punjab would be the first state in the region outside the National Capital to introduce Mass Rapid Transit System, he added.
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has described the MoU as a historic landmark and said this would completely revolutionise the development scenario in the state.
Mr Badal said that the project when completed would revolutionise the development scenario in the state. At the same time, he took the opportunity to clarify that there was no rift between the SAD and the BJP in Punjab and the two together will lead the state to faster development. SAD working president, Sukhbir Singh Badal, who was also present during the signing of MoU said that the step marked Punjab's entry into the age of post-modern technology. This, he said, was a commitment made by the party in its manifesto and it was now fulfilling its promise. After the Ludhian metro, he said, Amritsar metro work would also be taken up and there was also talk of initiating work on the proposed metro in Mohali, Chandigarh and Punchkula.
He said talks with the authorities concerned in Chandigarh and Haryana for the proposed metro in the tricity area were being initiated. The metro in the tricity area, he indicated, could also be extended to cover Dera Bassi as well.
The Municipal Corporation Ludhiana in 1999 had engaged RITES, a government of India undertaking, to conduct a feasibility study for setting up multi-model public transport system for Ludhiana.RITES had submitted their report in December 2000. RITES had recommended for setting up a Light Rail Transport System ( LRTS). The Ludhiana metro project will when completed will address the increasingly congested traffic conditions within the city.