Chandigarh Metro project will not be financially viable till 2051 due to low PHPDT

CHANDIGARH: The Metro project will not be financially viable till 2051 in view of inadequate projected peak-hour, peak-direction traffic (PHPDT). But if it is a go-ahead despite this, latest technology like driverless trains should be used so that there are substantial savings.

In a report to the ministry of urban development, which has also been given to UT’s board hearing objections on the draft master plan, the Chandigarh and Punjab chapter of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) have quoted the detailed project report prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) submitted to the administration last year.

The expected transport demand for 2018 on mass transit corridors (north-south and east-west) is estimated between 7,007 PHPDT (peak-hour, peak-direction traffic) on north-south corridor and 6,711 PHPDT on east-west corridor. This demand is expected to go up to 31,407 PHPDT and 13,303 PHPDT, respectively, by 2041, states the report.

But a Metro is most economical and feasible only if PHPDT is between 40,000-70,000. In case of Chandigarh the expected figure shall be reached in 2051. Therefore, Metro shall not be an economically viable proposition to tackle the traffic problems of the city.

As per a RITES study, major inflow of traffic is from the neighboring areas. Over 4 lakh daily commuters enter Chandigarh from Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur, Kharar, Pinjore and Rajpura. Therefore, there is a need to integrate these areas by an efficient transport system so that they are well connected with the city also.

“For Chandigarh Metro project, the cross system of network being proposed by the DMRC report is not suitable for Chandigarh region. Moreover, this is one of the most inefficient mass rapid transport system (MRTS) systems in the world. This type of network has hardly been used in any major city of the world,” said Surinder Bagga, chairperson, IIA.