Thiruvananthapuram (TVC): The RRTS was proposed for 125.65 km between Thiruvananthapuram Central and Chengannur through an upgrade of the existing railway network after a study by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) at the initiative of the State. The Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS), which has been mooted to make travel hassle-free for short-distance rail commuters, cannot substitute the Light Metro proposed for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode as they serve two different traffic corridors and different purposes, say proponents of the project. .
The Finance Department, in its appraisal report of the DPR prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for Light Metro that is awaiting Cabinet nod, had questioned the need of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) by pointing out that the routes of the RRTS and Light Metro were the same.
Proponents of the Light Metro say the RRTS aims at increasing the traffic capacity of the railway corridors whereas Light Metro is meant as MRTS for the city road traffic. The suburban rail system serves mainly inter-city traffic whereas the Light Metro is for intra-city traffic.
The RRTS moves along the outskirts whereas the Light Metro passes through the core of the city with more frequent stops. The Light Metro can carry 7,000 per hour per direction traffic (phpdt) against 1,500 to 2,500 phpdt by suburban trains, that too on a mainline rail corridor.
‘Light Metro must’
Even if the RRTS is executed, the two cities will need Light Metro to solve the present traffic and transportation problems and to end overdependence on personalised mode of transport.
In the case of Thiruvananthapuram, there are only three stations — Thampanoor, Kazhakuttam and Kaniyapuram — on the railway line which serve the route of the Light Metro as against the 19 stations proposed in first phase from Technocity near Pallipuram on NH 66 to Karamana.
Except Thampanoor, the available lead from the NH 66 to these two railway stations is also over 1 km. The DMRC has proposed the Light Metro instead of the scrapped monorail for the two cities based on the traffic figures on the proposed corridors.
Compared to the Rs.6,728 crore needed as per current rate for completion of Light Metro in the two cities, the proposed RRTS will cost Rs.3,330.78 crore.
Of this, Rs.1,200 crore is for rolling stock, Rs.1,025 crore for civil work, Rs.554.46 crore for signalling and telecom, Rs.172 crore for electrical work, and the remaining amount for other expenses.
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