New Delhi: The Government of India, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited and the New Development Bank(NDB) on Thursday signed a loan agreement for lending USD 500 million for the ‘Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Project’ to provide fast, reliable, safe and comfortable public transport system in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The NCR is among the world’s largest urban agglomerations and a major economic centre of India. Due to lack of efficient public transport options, the number of private vehicles in NCR has increased. The daily passenger traffic along the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor in NCR is estimated at 0.69 million, of which 63% utilize private vehicles for commuting. Due to traffic congestion, it can take about 3 to 4 hours to travel between Delhi and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh by road during peak hours.
Rapid growth in vehicular traffic has made NCR one of the most polluted regions in the world. By 2030, NCR is projected to become the most populous urban agglomeration in the world, which will increase pressure on basic infrastructure such as housing, water supply, electricity and transport.
Fast transit system will support in achieving the goal of sustainable urban development in NCR region including National Capital Territory of Delhi. It will activate processes which will enable sustainable economic and social development with environmental protection, for future generations.
The environment friendly and very low emission RRTS will carry many times more people at high speed (average speed 100 kmph) while occupying just 3 m space on land thus reducing congestion on the roads. Overall it will significantly reduce the total emissions from the transport sector in NCR.
The agreement was signed by Baldeo Purushartha, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India; Janardan Prasad on behalf of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Vinay Kumar Singh, Managing Director on behalf of the National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited and Xian Zhu, Vice President, Chief Operations Officer on behalf of the NDB.
Baldeo Purushartha said, “Seamless high speed connectivity will result in balanced economic development across the Region leading to economic benefits to all strata of society and many nodes of development rather than all economic activity happening at one place”.
The total project cost is estimated at USD 3,749 million, which will be financed by the NDB (USD 500 million), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (USD 500 million), Asian Development Bank (USD 1,049 million), Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (USD 3 million), and Government and Other sources (USD 1,707 million). The USD 500 million loan from the NDB has a tenor of 25 years withan8-year grace period.