‘Smart’ Jammu soon to get Metro Rail

JAMMU, JUN 28: After getting sanction for smart city, Jammu region which has allegedly been facing increased bias and prejudice during the present regime, is soon to get Metro Rail Project as the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES)- the company engaged for the project, has been conducting feasibility studies and preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the metro projects in Jammu and Srinagar.
RITES, has been engaged by Economic and Reconstruction Agency (ERA) to prepare DPR of Metro rail in Jammu and Srinagar. The project would address the growing traffic congestion in the city.
For Jammu, the Project comprises of two corridors in Phase-I from Kheri to Exhibition ground and Barnai to Bari Brahmana Railway Station, Highly placed sources disclosed.
In Stage-I, MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System) Master Plan for study area has been completed and Stage-II, DPR for agreed Priority MRTS Corridors is in progress and would be ready by August after consultation with various stake holders, sources said.
In the first phase, projects would be prepared for the routes as suggested in the City Mobility Plan (CMP) of Jammu and Srinagar cities.
Identifying the 36 kms route of Metro in Jammu City, the Project comprises of two corridors in Phase-I from Kheri to Exhibition ground (11 km) and Barnai to Bari Brahmana Railway Station (25 km), sources said.
The company has already provided preliminary report. But for the DPR, it will take two-three months more time. During survey, the RITES men would reveal how many kms of length would be under ground and how much above ground. The cost underground per kilometer may be about three times more than on the ground. So the company experts will access the total cost of the project. The completion time of the project will also be fixed after the DPR is prepared.
In this connection, the authorities have reviewed the progress of feasibility report for construction of Metro Rail Project, in a meeting today, which discussed various aspects of first phase of the project including expected cost, routes, rail stations, over head bridges and construction technology.
The meeting was chaired by Jammu Divisional Commissioner Dr Mandeep K Bhandari, who stressed upon the officers to use the latest technology so that the best service can be provided to the commuters.
Similarly, in Srinagar city, the 45 kms tentative routes suggested in the City Mobility Plan is from Nowgam railway station to SKIMS and Pantha Chowk to Shalteng.
It is to pertinent to mention here in order to address serious traffic congestion in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, M/S RITES Limited was engaged for preparation of Comprehensive Mobility Plans for both the cities in pursuance of a Cabinet decision dated August 26, 2010. RITES furnished draft final report for Srinagar city in May 2012, which was sent to the Administrative Secretaries of the Roads and Buildings and Housing and Urban Development departments for their communication and examination. The final report of Comprehensive Mobility Plan for Srinagar city has been received in the 3rd week of September 2013.
Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) Chairman Harsh Dev Singh, who had raised this issue number of times on different platforms, has welcomed the initiative. Recently Metro rail project with three corridors has been sanctioned for Srinagar at a whopping cost of Rs 15881 crore to the neglect of Jammu, but if the initiative has been taken now in favour of Jammu, it is a welcome step, he said, adding Jammu is more vulnerable from traffic point of view with almost half the population of District Srinagar migrating to Jammu in winters.
Jammu Divisional Commissioner Dr Mandeep K Bhandari, when contacted, confirmed the Metro Rail Project. It is preliminary exercise to further explore the project after seeking suggestions from the stakeholders. The RITES would take two-three months time to prepare DPR mentioning expected cost, routes, rail stations, over head bridges and construction technology. The project would be then submitted to the State government for implementation, he informed.
Presently, five metros and a Tier-II city have metro rail networks in the country. They are Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore (all metro cities) and Jaipur, a Tier-II City. Kolkata was the first city to have metro rail while Chennai is the latest.