NEW DELHI: India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a loan of $500 million on Tuesday, September 9, to build a modern, high-speed 82-km Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor. This is the first allocation of a total one-billion-dollar facility which will improve the regional transport and movement in and around the National Capital Region (NCR).
The corridor has a design speed of 180 kilometers per hour and frequency operations of every 5 to 10 minutes. It is expected to reduce the travel time between Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi and Modipuram in Meerut to one hour from the present three to four hours. The first allotment will be used for the construction of one of the three priority rail corridors under NCR Regional Plan 2021, which will connect Delhi to adjoining cities. It will have multi modal hubs to ensure hassle free inter-change with other modes of transportation.
The signatories to loan agreement were Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB) at the Department of Economic Affairs in Ministry of Finance from the side of Government of India and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB.
Mr Khare, after signing the agreement, said that the RRTS project will provide improved connectivity to allow other towns in the NCR to develop as major urban economic centres surrounded by residential areas and will at the same time reduce the concentration pressure on Delhi.
The first part of financing will be used for the construction of electrified tracks, signaling systems, multi-modal hubs and stations with design features that are friendly to elderly, women, children and Persons with Disability (PwD). The project will also support the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) in drafting action plans on transit oriented development, value capture financing instruments and public-private partnership initiatives, setting up a smart-technology based platform and formulating a gender-friendly workplace policy.