The government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Tuesday signed a $500 million loan to build a high-speed 82-kilometer Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor. The project will improve regional connectivity and mobility in the national capital region (NCR). This is the first tranche of a total $1 billion facility, which will support construction of the first of three priority rail corridors planned under the NCR Regional Plan 2021 to connect Delhi to other cities in adjoining states.
“Development of this corridor will have a huge demonstration effect and pave the way for a paradigm shift in mobility and the pattern of urban development within the region,” Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, said after signing the loan agreement, as per a statement by the ministry.
“The project is expected to have a transformational impact on the development trajectory of the national capital region by introducing high-level technologies for RRTS, signaling, and station designs. Besides, the project will also support transit-oriented development (TOD) with systematic urban and land use planning around the RRTS corridor while promoting value capture financing (VCF) to generate additional municipal revenues,” said Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.
With a design speed of 180 km per hour and high-frequency operations of every 5–10 minutes, the 82-km corridor connecting Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi to Modipuram in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh is expected to reduce the journey time to about 1 hour from the present 3–4 hours.
The first tranche financing will be used for constructing electrified tracks, signaling systems, multimodal hubs and stations with design features that are friendly to elderly, women, children and the disabled. Another $3 million grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will support various activities, including provision of visual, hearing and mobility aids, such as wheelchairs for differently abled persons, the government said.
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