Delhi Meerut Rapid Rail project is all set to see the light of the day as the inter-ministerial panel for clearing government investment is likely to put its stamp for the development of the first corridor of rapid rail network between the two cities this week. This will make way for starting construction work for the rapid rail project that will bring down travel time between Delhi and Meerut to around 55 minutes. According to a TOI report, the proposal has been sent by the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry along with the phase-IV project of Delhi Metro to the Public Investment Board (PIB) for appraisal. This development comes after the government of Uttar Pradesh had consented to pay its share of the equity to build the network requiring an investment of about Rs 31,600 crore. Later, the government of Delhi also gave in-principle approval to the rapid rail project.
According to sources quoted in the report, the original proposal, which was sent by the Ministry of Urban Affairs suggested that the work on Uttar Pradesh portion could be taken up in the first phase considering the fact that the state had given its full approval for the 82 km high-speed rail corridor. The rapid rail project will be implemented by the NCR Transport Corporation, which has been set up by the central government. The capital city, Delhi, as well as other states in the NCR, have a share in this special purpose vehicle (SPV), the report stated.
According to officials, it is up to the PIB to decide how the rapid rail project can be executed. As per the funding plan of the project, 60 per cent of the cost will come in the form of loan from multilateral funding agencies, 20 per cent of the cost will come from the central government and the rest 20 per cent of the cost will be shared by the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
Earlier, Hardeep Singh Puri, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister said that the Central government could not accept the request to bear the national capital’s share as it would set a precedent for other states executing mass rapid rail projects, which is implemented through SPV.
The rapid rail network, which will link the national capital to Meerut will be aerodynamic and will have state-of-the-art trains. The trains will be designed in order to provide “business-class luxury” to passengers. Also, the modern trains will have a reserved coach for women passengers. The project is likely to be over by 2024.