Govt looking at running Metros on broad gauge tracks: Gadkari

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 01, 2018 Published on November 01, 2018

Union Minister for Road, Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari speaks at the release of Ease of Mobility Index report in New Delhi on Thursday   -  PTI

Will cut costs, move more people, says Minister

Imagine metro trains plying on existing railway tracks. That is what Road Transport, Shipping and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said here on Thursday. There is scope to run broad gauge metro coaches on railway tracks. This will help connect cities and their satellite towns at a low cost, he said.

He pointed out that Nagpur, for instance, can be connected with several nearby towns by using the broad gauge network. Nagpur Metro is trying to acquire broad gauge rolling stock and run them on the existing tracks.

Talks on

“We have spoken to five companies which are ready to provide such solutions,” Gadkari said, while launching the Ease of Mobility Index Report prepared by Ola Mobility Institute. Metro rail construction costs ₹350 crore a km while broad gauge metro costs just 1 per cent of that, or about ₹3.5 crore. Three times more passengers can move in the same space if the broad gauge network is used. Also, the speed of metro trains will be much faster than express trains.

In case of metro track network with standard gauge, the metro rail systems can be integrated by re-designing railway stations. Nagpur, incidentally, has a standard gauge network, while Delhi metro has a broad gauge network line in several sections.

The Minister said the plan for running a broad gauge metro train would take time to fructify. The Ministry of Urban Development has signed an agreement with the Railway Ministry to explore the option of having metro trains run on broad gauge tracks, other sources told BusinessLine.

Incidentally, Train 18, manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory to replace the Shatabdi Express, is a broad gauge metro-like train.

Survey results

Over 60 per cent of the 43,000 people surveyed by a third party agency which conducted The Ease of Moving Index for Ola Mobility Institute, who use public modes of commute, said that the first- and last-mile connectivity would lead to more usage of public transport.

The survey was conducted in 20 cities, and the respondents were not necessarily Ola users. “Each person was interviewed for approximately 40 minutes,” said Anand Shah, Senior Vice-President and Head — Ola Mobility Institute. This is despite Ola having its own data analysis system, for millions of its users, as the idea was to have an independent survey. This will now be a yearly study.

Published on November 01, 2018
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