Ludhiana metro project to be delayed

Written by Swarleen Kaur | Chandigarh | Updated: Dec 18 2009, 04:37am hrs
The Ludhiana Metro project, hailed as a panacea for the congested industrial city, may take a long time to materialise. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB), which had signed the MoU for the project, are divided in their opinion on whether most sections of the metro should run over the ground or under it. In its detailed project report submitted to the Board, the DMRC team had envisaged a 29-km track for the metro, of which, 12 km were planned as running underground. The report envisaged that the project would be operational by 2014.

However, the project may be delayed, since PIDB wants the corporation to cut costs for the project. Talking to FE, Gurpratap Singh Mann, chief general manager, Punjab Infrastructure Development Board, said, The project report submitted by DMRC to the Board estimated the cost of the project at Rs 10,516 crore. Since this is very high, we had urged DMRC to reduce costs by planning most sections over the ground.

PIDB had suggested that the Ludhiana Metro should run over the ground as far as possible. Mann stated that the cost of constructing the metro underground is more than the expenditure involved in constructing it over the ground. PIDB had pointed out that the proposed Hyderabad Metro project runs over the ground, and the same pattern should be adopted for Ludhiana.

However, SD Sharma, DMRC chief engineer (consultancy), said constructing the metro over the ground may prove to be a difficult task. A lot of demolition will be involved in running the metro over the ground, said Sharma. Demolition is neither viable, nor possible. The metro may not be able to connect many vital areas in the city if the pre-condition is that the lines must run over the ground, he said, adding that Ludhiana has a 3.5-km elevated road, which goes over several key areas of the city. It will be impossible to take the metro over the elevated road, he stated. The DMRC team is planning to visit Ludhiana soon to see if there are any areas where the metro lines can be constructed over the ground.

The DMRC project report suggested two corridors for the metro project, the first corridor being Ayali Chowk to BBMB Power House Corridor, covering 15.79 km. The route from Gill Village to Rahon Road Chungi, covering 13.03 km, was scheduled to be the second corridor.