Mega plan to link Delhi ring rail, Metro net­work

Move may re­duce traf­fic by half

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - Region - Faizan Haidar faizan.haider@hin­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: The rail min­istry has set the wheels in mo­tion to re­vive and in­te­grate Delhi’s 43-year-old ring rail sys­tem with the Metro in a bid to give the Cap­i­tal a com­pre­hen­sive sub­ur­ban net­work that will un­clog the city’s roads, rail­way min­is­ter Piyush Goyal said.

Goyal added the in­te­grated net­work, cou­pled with Metro in­ter­changes, can make “50% cars go off the roads”. He said that a study had been or­dered to work out what would be needed to make this project work.

The rail­ways is also look­ing at cre­at­ing a sep­a­rate by­pass for freight trains to re­duce the load on tracks that ferry pas­sen­gers. “Delhi be­ing in the heart of coun­try, four rail­ways come through Delhi. So the whole Delhi net­work is clogged like crazy. (With the by­pass), which­ever train that doesn’t have to come to Delhi will by­pass it,” the min­is­ter said.

Delhi has 35 km of ring rail net­work that criss-crosses the 231-km Metro net­work at sev­eral lo­ca­tions. But due to lack of plan­ning, the link be­tween the Metro and rail sys­tems has not been es­tab­lished.

“My of­fi­cers are al­ready de­puted to study a plan for Delhi built around the (sub­ur­ban) ring rail­way. Metro in­ter­changes will be there (on top of this). Metro has been a boon for Delhi. Sub­ur­ban rail­way, cou­pled with Metro in­ter­changes, can make lit­er­ally 50% cars go off roads,” Goyal said.

All seven mem­bers of Par­lia­ment from Delhi re­cently met the rail­way min­is­ter and de­manded re­de­vel­op­ment and de­con­ges­tion of the city’s rail­way sta­tions and sug­gested that a sub­ur­ban net­work could im­prove con­nec­tiv­ity. “We re­quested the min­is­ter to have AC coaches in the sub­ur­ban rail­way to at­tract com­muters and im­prove the ex­ist­ing net­work. The de­con­ges­tion of ar­eas around sta­tions was also taken up to make it ac­ces­si­ble,” said Ma­heish Girri, BJP MP from East Delhi.

Ac­cord­ing to a se­nior rail­way of­fi­cial, a fea­si­bil­ity study has been com­mis­sioned to look at the best plan suited for Delhi.

“The study will sug­gest whether we need to build new lines or link­ages to con­nect the Metro and ring rail sys­tems with each other. We are most prob­a­bly look­ing at link­ages and in­ter­changes with the Metro sys­tem,” said the of­fi­cial.

The min­is­ter and the of­fi­cial did not give de­tails of the es­ti­mated cost of the project.

The ring rail sys­tem was con­structed in 1975 for car­ry­ing goods, and started run­ning pas­sen­ger trains in 1982.

The study will also fo­cus on ex­ist­ing and pro­posed Master Plans and land-use plan­ning along the ring rail routes. “For the re­vival of ring rail­way, we need to as­sess the need for ad­di­tional land for tracks, sta­tions and ap­proach roads,” an­other rail­way of­fi­cer added.

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