PMRDA to table Light Rail plan before CM ahead of elections

PUNE: The Light Rail Transit proposal of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority would be tabled in a meeting to be held under chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ahead of the assembly polls and then forwarded to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for approval.

Officials from the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) stated that the Light Rail Transit (LRT) proposal was mooted under the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) for areas not having access to the Metro corridors in the city. The scheme under the CMP has proposed 70km stretch of LRT on Sinhagad Road, Warje to Swargate, Wagholi to Hinjewadi and Chandni Chowk to Hinjewadi.

According to the PMRDA officials, cost of the LRT corridors would be less than the Metro routes. The cost for a regular Metro’s elevated corridor is Rs.250 crore per km. In comparison, cost of the LRT would be Rs.150 crore per km.

An official from the PMRDA told that there was no significant difference between the Metro and LRT except for the cost and fewer coaches in a light rail rake than that of a Metro. “The construction would be such that we can convert LRT corridors into Metro routes, depending on the use,” the official said.

Transport experts stated the LRT had been proposed against the backdrop of poor public transport in the city. Urban planners claimed the cost was a major factor and LRT corridors were being planned so that they could be upgraded to the regular Metro routes.

According to urban transport experts, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had recommended LRT for smaller cities. While Maharashtra mooted LRT in Pune, the Andhra Pradesh government is considering it for Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam. The Kerala government proposed LRT for Thiruvanathapuram and Kozhikode, while the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd identified three corridors for LRT in the national capital, totalling 45km in length.