Delhi-Meerut in 60 minutes with new high-speed rapid rail project: The Housing and Urban Affairs ministry it appears has sent the Rs 31,600 crore Delhi-Meerut rapid rail project to the finance ministry for appraisal, hinting that it won’t wait for Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal government’s nod for the infrastructure project. Once, the project gets appraised by the finance ministry, it can be sent to the Cabinet for approval, states a ToI report. Work can begin for the 82-km long ambitious mass transport project linking Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi with Ghaziabad, Murad Nagar and Modi Nagar, once the Cabinet approval comes through.
Some sources were quoted in the report as saying that other than sending the proposal to the finance ministry for appraisal, there is no other option left with the urban affairs ministry as the project has not been approved by Arvind Kejriwal government yet and delay in sanctioning the stretch was pushing up the cost. However, the project has already been approved by the Uttar Pradesh government. According to a government official, the bidding process can start once the Cabinet puts its stamp on the project. After this, construction can start in the portion falling in Uttar Pradesh. The move will build more pressure on Delhi administration to act.
As per the funding plan of the project, multilateral funding agencies will provide the 60% of the project cost in the form of loans and the Central government will provide 20% of the project cost. Rest 20% of the project cost will be shared by Delhi government and Uttar Pradesh government. According to officials, since it’s a long gestation project, there is a need to hasten the process of getting approval. In order to execute the rapid rail project, the Central government has set up a special entity, NCRTC and the detailed project report for this stretch has been approved by its board in December 2016.
The rail network, which will connect Delhi to Meerut will be aerodynamic and will have state-of-the-art trains. The trains will be designed to provide “business-class luxury” to passengers. The trains will also have a reserved coach for women passengers. The project is being executed by NCRTC (National Capital Region Transport Corporation) and is scheduled to be over by 2024.
Earlier, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri was quoted saying that if Delhi government delayed the approval, the Central government will alone go ahead with the DMRC phase-IV as well as with other such projects.