After spending crores on preparing Detailed Project report of the proposed Ludhiana Metro project (since 2011) which was estimated to cost a whopping Rs 10,330 crore, SAD- BJP government on Wednesday doled out much ‘cheaper and economical’ Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) for Ludhiana which will cost Rs 1,250 crore only.
The move comes few days before the announcement of the Lok Sabha polls has brought forth the financial crunch of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and state government which is now sending this project to Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for getting 50 per cent funds from the Centre and it was presented before the MC General House emergency meeting for instant approval.
Addressing the house, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria talked straight and announced that ‘for the time being Ludhiana Metro has been kept aside and now we are seeking house’s approval for BRTS which like the Metro is aimed at solving traffic congestion in the city.’
The house taking a unanimous call approved the project which will now be put forth in a meeting with JNNURM officials in New Delhi. Isha Kalia, additional commissioner said, “The project is on the lines of Metro only but difference is that instead of rail tracks and trains, corridors will made especially for buses.”
“We have to send the project to JNNURM for their approval and getting funds from centre so an emergency meeting was called,” she added.
The project will be thoroughly carried out under guidance of Punjab Bus Metro society (PBMS) and is expected to be completed by 2018. However, the first phase of 14.5 km from Ayali Chowk to Gill village is proposed to be implemented in 2014-15 with fleet of 48 buses.