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Will Metro, public transport be put on track?

As Parimal Rai, an IAS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, takes over as 16th Adviser of Chandigarh many challenges will await him.

Chandigarh news Mark for metro project on road between sectors 21 and 22 in Chandigarh. Express Archives

As Parimal Rai, an IAS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, takes over as 16th Adviser of Chandigarh on March 14, many challenges will await him, the prominent being the implementation of the ambitious Metro Rail project, which is yet to the see light of day; it will require a major push.

The Metro Rail project has been marred by delays. As per the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the work on the first corridor covering a distance of 12.49 km from Capitol Complex to Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan was expected to start from April 2013 and get operational by 2018. The total length of the project covering Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula is 37.57 km, of which the majority of the proposed two corridors fall in Chandigarh.


Although Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab have signed a memorandum of understanding, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) has not been notified so far. Corridor 2 from PGIMER to grain market, Panchkula, will cover a total route length of 25.08 km. The Chandigarh Administration has sent the DPR to the Ministry of Urban Development. The DPR is to be put up before the Union Cabinet for approval. After getting a nod from the Union Cabinet, SPV named as the Greater Chandigarh Transport Corporation (GCTC) will be notified. The initial equity of SPV is around Rs 100 crore, which is to be shared equally by MoUD, Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab.

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Chandigarh has the highest density of vehicles in India with around 12 lakh registered vehicles. The fleet of vehicles is over two per household in the city. In addition, there is a floating population of around 1.5 lakh vehicles. The ever-rising number of vehicular population in the city is one of the main contributors to the deteriorating quality of air in the city.

Public transport — coming in and going out of the city — requires a lot of attention as the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has shortage of buses. As per official figures, CTU has a fleet of 470 buses which are operating from its four depots. The fleet comprises standard size buses, semi-low floor non-AC buses, AC buses, low-floor AC buses, low-floor non-AC buses and mini-AC buses. Out of the total buses, 87 are being used for long routes while the remaining buses are used for city bus service which serve the Tricity of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, and suburban areas like Zirakpur and Kharar. Around 100 more buses are required to strengthen the local bus service. Due to shortage of buses, around 42 per cent permits of various inter-state routes are lying unused.

First published on: 14-03-2016 at 08:58:57 am
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