INDIA'S FIRST REGIONAL RAPID RAIL IS COMING TO NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION

National Capital Region (NCR) is one of the world largest metropolitan areas, with a population of more than 56.8 million (2011). It encompasses the entire National Capital Territory of Delhi, including New Delhi and urban areas surrounding it in neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. NCR area collectively generates around 7.5% of Indian GDP. Thus, it is one of the key growth regions for the country.

With rising population and economy activities, there is a massive demand in the infrastructure in this region.  National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB) was created for the development of the region.

Regional Rapid Transit System – Planned Corridors

One of the key projects of NCRPB is the development of Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), connecting Delhi with key cities in NCR region. The RRTS project is expected to facilitate quick commute for passengers between Delhi and NCR towns. The RRTS trains are expected to have a design speed of 180 kmph with high acceleration and deceleration.

The National Capital Region Planning Board has identified eight corridors for rail-based high-speed commuter transit system, including:

Phase 1

Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut (90 km)

Delhi-Sonipat-Panipat (111 km)

Delhi-Gurgaon-Rewari-Alwar (180 km)

Phase 2

Delhi-Hapur (57 km)

Delhi-Khurja (83 km)

Delhi-Ballabgarh-Palwal (60 km)

Delhi-Baghpat (56 km)

Delhi-Rohtak (70 km)

National Capital Region Transport Company (NCRTC)

NCRPB created a separate entity -National Capital Region Transport Company (NCRTC) in 2013 with a mandate to design, develop, finance, operate and maintain the RRTS with an aim to provide fast, safe and comfortable rapid transit between Delhi and nearby NCR towns like Meerut, Panipat, Sonipat, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Manesar and Alwar.

NCRPB has planned to commence work on three corridors in Phase 1 and has prepared detailed project report (DPR) for 3 corridors – (a) Delhi-Meerut, (b) Delhi-Panipat and (c) Delhi-Alwar. NCRPB has also conducted stakeholder meetings for these corridors.

Delhi – Meerut Corridor

Delhi – Panipat Corridor

Delhi - Alwar Corridor

 

NCRPB has also decided Inter-operability of RRTS among the three corridors viz., Delhi-Meerut, Delhi-Panipat and Delhi-Alwar to enable seamless travel to these four destinations besides reduction of costs through economies of scale in procurement of equipment and coaches etc. Further, RRTS network will be integrate with other modes at Sarai Kale Khan, AnandVihar, ISBT (Kashmiri Gate) and Aero City in Delhi to enable easy transition from one mode of transit to the other.

First Phase - Delhi to Meerut Corridor

NCRPB approved the first corridor of Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Rapid Rail Transit corridor in December 2016 and sanctioned INR 21,902 (US$ 3.2 billion) for the project. It is expected to start operations by 2024 and would reduce travel time between the capital and Meerut to about an hour.

Commercial Hub

The corridor would start from Sarai Kale Khan terminus station, which would become a transit hub with an existing bus terminal and the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station nearby. The corridor would pass through densely populated areas of Delhi, Ghaziabad and Meerut, terminating at Modipuram.

Of the total 92 km-long corridor, 60 km is elevated viaduct, 30.5 km is underground and 1.5 km will be at grade for connections to two depots at Duhai and Modipuram. There will be a total of 17 stations, including 11 elevated and 6 underground stations.

Funding

NCRPB will be looking to explore alternative revenue source like rental (inside the stations), property development and transit oriented development (TOD). Further, the authority will take soft loan from multilateral agency to finance the capex. The authority is also exploring the participation of private players for operation and management of the project.