After having explored metro rail and monorail, the UT administration has now pitched for metrolite as the mass rapid transit system (MRTS) to solve Chandigarh’s traffic congestion and parking issues. As the name suggests, metrolite is an urban rail transit system on the lines of metro, but much smaller in size and cost. In fact, the cost is a third of that of metro rail.
The administration has sought to be part of the central government’s pilot projects, which are in the process of being developed across the country. “We have requested the ministry of housing and urban affairs to start the pilot project in Chandigarh, as being done in Pune and other cities. Chandigarh fits the profile of cities (having low projection of ridership) that can benefit from the project,” said UT adviser Manoj Kumar Parida.
The matter was also taken up with the ministry’s secretary, Durga Shankar Mishra, on his recent visit to the city. The ministry, it is learnt, has shown inclination towards including Chandigarh in the pilot project.
With a population of over 12 lakh and 15 lakh registered vehicles, Chandigarh has the highest density of vehicles per household in the country. In addition to these, over two lakh vehicles on interstate routes cross the city daily.
Amid traffic congestion and parking problems, the administration has failed to finalise an MRTS project. The metro rail proposal was dropped after opposition from MP Kirron Kher, architects and conservationists. The monorail proposal is also hanging fire. Recently, another alternative, skybus, was also found to be unviable, said Parida.
ALL ABOUT METROLITE
The Centre has proposed metrolite for smaller cities (having low projection of ridership) in place of metro rail, which was found to be financially unviable.
While per kilometre cost of setting up metro rail is ₹300 crore, that of metrolite is ₹100 crore. The operational and maintenance cost of metrolite is also much lower.