DEHRADUN: In the year 2017, Doon saw a beautiful dream of metro rail in the hilly area and to fulfill that dream the state government had immediately formed the Uttarakhand Metro Rail Corporation (UkMRC). The metropolitan area was declared from Dehradun to Haridwar, Rishikesh and Munikireti. After nearly two years of tireless efforts, the detailed project report (DPR) of the project was made and it was decided that in the first phase the corridor from ISBT to Kandoli and FRI to Raipur would be constructed at a cost of about five thousand crore rupees. For this, many resources were added and after spending more than five crore rupees, now the journey of the metro has almost ended.
Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh refused to consider the Light Rail Transit System (LRTS) based metro rail project as he thinks it is non-suitable for Doon. He is in favor of operating the Ropeway (cable cars) in Doon instead of the light metro. However, nothing has been exercised for the ropeway yet. This is the reason that recently two meetings of Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) for the light metro rail project have been held under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, both times the metro was not mentioned. Due to non-coordination between the Uttarakhand metro rail corporation and the chief secretary they were not able to sit on the metro, it was decided that it would be decided in the Chief Minister’s meeting itself.
Officers of Uttarakhand Metro Rail Corporation (UkMRC) and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) visited Germany for the LRTS-based metro project. Subsequently, in August 2018, a team headed by Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik also visited London and Germany. After the recommendations of both the team, the light metro project was finalized with some modifications. Now it was up to the government and the Chief Minister to decide whether to move forward or work on the cable car. It is definitely that if a decision is taken to work on the cable car project, then Doon will have to start afresh.
Funding for Cable car project
The Central Government will bear 50 per cent of the cost incurred on the construction of the metro project. However, the state government will have to bear all the expenses for the construction of the cable car project.
Metro can easily find partners in PPP mode
According to experts, if the Metro project is constructed in PPP mode, then it can easily find partners, whereas in the case of cable cars, it is difficult to do so. That is because the cable car can carry only about four thousand passengers in a day, while more than eight thousand passengers have been estimated in both the corridors of the light metro. In such a situation, private partners can show more interest in the metro in terms of profit.
Cable car does not stop, metro stations fixed
The cable car is not considered more favorable than the metro for people traveling in the routine. The reason is that the cable car never stops and it is very slow even when it comes to the station. In such a situation, it is not suitable for every class of passengers, while the metro is stopped for a fixed time at every station.
Cable car takes longer
People often get late for office and essential work by getting stuck in Doon’s jam. When compared to such metro and cable cars, the metro will run at an average speed of 35-40 kmph (maximum 80), while the cable car will be able to run at a speed of 15 kmph.
There was no hope of such a situation after a long workout
In the last two years, extensive work was done to bring the metro rail project to the ground. In the first phase, two corridors of Doon were finalized and even the number of passengers per day, fare and income of the corporation were assessed. After all, no one expected to pull out of the metro project at the last minute.
Metro project size was also reduced
In April 2017, the government announced metropolitan area from Dehradun to Haridwar and Rishikesh to Munikireti for the metro project. Accordingly, it was decided to operate the metro. However, considering the cost of construction of the project at more than Rs 25 thousand crore, it was decided to complete it in two phases. In July 2017, it was decided that two corridors were also included in the DPR to operate the metro within Doon.
Corridors fixed, passengers also assessed
Fare also Decided
- Distance 0-2 : Rs.13/-
- 2-6: Rs.27/-
- More than 6 km : Rs.40/-
Rs 672 crores revenue in a year expected
The project, which the Chief Secretary has rejected, is considered by the Uttarakhand Metro Rail Corporation to be income-friendly. According to Manager Director Tyagi, as soon as the Metro starts operating, there will be an income of around Rs 672 crore, while the total expenses will be around Rs 524 crore. In this way, this LRTS-based project will run from the beginning and will not require any financial support from the government in addition to the cost of its construction (about four thousand crores in the Doon Corridor).
The project was managed after many ups and downs
After retiring from the post of Managing Director (MD) of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Jitendra Tyagi assumed the charge of Managing Director of the newly formed Uttarakhand Metro Rail Corporation in February 2017 at the request of the state government.
Jitendra Tyagi resigned from the post of MD in September 2017 after the project’s DPR was not prepared for several months.
The government did not accept the resignation and after requesting Jitendra Tyagi, he withdrew his resignation. After this, the government also released the initial budget of Rs 75 crore for the metro. However, this budget was only for salary and allowances and minor tasks.
What officials says
Utpal Kumar, Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand said, “LRTS is a big project in terms of cost and surface coverage, whereas there will be no such constraint in cable cars. On the other hand, every option of public transport needs to be considered. Work is also going on in this direction”.
Jitendra Tyagi, Managing Director, Uttarakhand Metro Rail Corporation said, “Even in the meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, talks on the metro project could not progress further. If the government moves ahead on the cable car, it will have to be renewed, while all the exercises were done in the metro project.”