Delhi-NCR rapid rail to offer business class travel, lounge

NEW DELHI/GURUGRAM: Trains of the upcoming rapid rail transit system (RRTS) will have a business-class coach to ensure that you can travel in style.

One of the 12 coaches will have special facilities such as overhead cabin for luggage, Wi-Fi, luxury seats and refreshments for passengers willing to pay for it. Additionally, there will also be a lounge for the business-class passengers.

The RRTS will be constructed in three phases and Phase 1 will include three corridors — Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut, Delhi-Sonipat-Panipat and Delhi-Gurugram-Rewari-Alwar. The alignment of the 126-km-long first phase from Sarai Kale Khan to Shahjahanpur-Neemrana-Behror (SNB) was finalised in June, this year.

A total of 81.86km of the line falls on land in Haryana and the estimated cost to complete this phase is at least Rs 25,000 crore.

While the detailed project reports (DPR) of two corridors are ready, National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) is now preparing the DPR for the Delhi-Gurugram-Rewari-Alwar stretch.

On the status of the project, an NCRTC official said, “As of now, paperwork on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Merrut corridor is proceeding at the fastest pace. For the other two corridors, the process of getting sanctions is yet to start.”

Haryana government has promised to provide necessary approvals and land for the project. Pushing for speedy completion of the project, it has also asked NCRTC to submit the DPR. “The DPR will be done in the next one-and-a-half months. Once construction starts, it will take five years to complete the project. After we submit the DPR, the state government will approve it and then it will go to other stakeholders for their approval. The government wants us to start the pre-construction activities in the current financial year,” said Sudhir Sharma, chief public relations officer, NCRTC.

Passing through the industrialised areas of Haryana and Rajasthan, the rapid rail will benefit the entire region lying between Delhi and Alwar, including Gurugram.

It will connect 22 areas, including Sarai Kale Khan, Munirka, Aerocity, Rajiv Chowk, Manesar, Rewari, Sotanala and Alwar.

Recently, NHAI agreed to the construction of the RRTS along the national highways, which will reduce land requirement and ensure faster implementation of the project. “We have given a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the project,” said a senior NHAI official.

The business-class coach is expected to encourage commuters of Delhi-NCR and surrounding areas to avail of public transport for inter-city travel. “Residents of Delhi-NCR are status conscious. There are people who want to use public transport but they don’t want to be with the rest of the crowd. The luxurious coaches are for them,” said Sharma.

On the issue of Delhi raising questions about the funding of the project, he said, “The governments concerned will have to take a call on this. The central and state governments will have to reach a consensus. As far as planning is concerned, NCRTC has an MoU with four states — Delhi, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan — as well as the Centre. The planning has been overseen by the inter-state ministerial committee.”