Master Plan Committee’s Financial Viability Report for Chandigarh Metro gives no rosy picture

UT alone cannot win Metro even by 2031: Report

Chandigarh (CDG): Even as Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana have approached ministry of urban development for seeking funds for the Metro project, an analysis of its financial viability by UT’s own master plan committee doesn’t paint a rosy picture.

With the present population of 10.5 lakh for the entire UT, Chandigarh does not independently qualify for a Metro for which a minimum population of 20 lakh has been recently mandated by the central government (earlier the minimum requirement was a population of 40 lakh). “The sharp decline in the UT’s growth rate from 40 % to 17% also does not make the proposition viable even by 2031 as the projected population for the master plan by that year is only 16 lakhs,” reads its report.

However, it is only the large floating population from adjoining towns of Punjab and Haryana which can make the project break even.

“Viewed from the regional perspective and the requirements of not only the Tricity but also of the metropolitan region, the proposition seems viable as it will take care of large volumes of intercity traffic .The present population of the Chandigarh Urban Complex makes the proposition viable,” adds the report.

As per the plan, tax will be imposed on commercial vehicles entering the city, owners of existing vehicles in the city will have to give green cess and the cost of vehicle registration too would be hiked. All this are steps aimed at decongesting’ the city and prompting people to travel by Metro instead.

Apart from this, the UT administration would consider imposition of metro cess on sale of petrol and diesel to generate funds for the project. This has been done in other cities that have been sanctioned Metro schemes in recent past.

As much as 87.78 % commuters presently use private vehicles in the city and success of Metro would also depend in making the population switch over to public transport.