In an exciting news for the residents of Chandigarh, Mohali, and Panchkula (Tricity), the Metro proposal, as readied by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) got an in-principle nod during a recent meeting about the comprehensive mobility plan (CMP) for Chandigarh Tricity. The meeting was chaired by Punjab Governor and UT administrator Banwarilal Purohit, both the respective Punjab and Haryana governments, and the Chandigarh administration.
The 39-km metro network proposed by RITES is anticipated to provide better connectivity between the three cities, with a key focus on steering clear of the prestigious heritage sectors in Sector 1 to 30. This move has taken place keeping in view the burgeoning traffic chaos that is seen to be accelerating over the last few years, as students and working professionals from neighboring states have started moving to Chandigarh Tricity for education and work opportunities.
As per the comprehensive mobility plan prepared by RITES, the proposed metro network shall be integrated with various other modes of transport as well that will provide seamless connectivity to the commuters. The key authorities from Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh have given their green flag to the plan and are now working on incorporating the prospective suggestions from all stakeholders prior to sending it to the central government’s Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for the final approval.
“It can either be regular Metro or Metro lite, though, most likely it will be Metro lite. Most of it will be overground rather than underground. The final decision will be taken as per the detailed project report which will be prepared after a comprehensive ground survey,” UT Adviser Dharam Pal shared with a leading daily.
“After incorporating the suggestions from Haryana and Punjab, we will send the report to the Centre for approval,” he further added.
The stakeholders also agreed to establish a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA), which will act as a integrated platform to handle the overall mobility issues that Chandigarh Tricity might encounter in the future. The UMTA will comprise of various officials from the central government, Chandigarh administration, Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh to ensure smooth coordination among several institutions and come together to work in unison for the implementation of the mobility plan to improve the Tricity’s overall traffic situation.
The proposed metro network is expected to ease the traffic chaos in the Tricity area and provide affordable and efficient transportation options to the residents. The project is also expected to generate various employment opportunities and boost the overall economy of the region. With the in-principle approval from the authorities, the metro rail project in Chandigarh Tricity is a step closer to becoming a reality.
Earlier in 2009, RITES had recommended a similar Metro proposal which was rejected for not being viable as per Chandigarh’s city size and population and the ₹14,000-crore cost was not considered to be financially feasible. However, this time, the updated proposal has received a first level approval from the authorities and is expected to go further in the days to come.