A Detailed Project Report (DPR) for construction of rail-based mass rapid transit systems (MRTS) in Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar is being prepared by French consulting and engineering group SYSTRA and is expected to be ready by end of 2022.
These four cities will witness the development of two new kinds of MRTS, Metro Neo and Metro Lite, designed specifically for small and medium sized cities.
The feasibility studies will lay the foundation for constructing either Metro Neo or Metro Lite projects in these four cities and it will be much cheaper than the conventional metro-rail projects. The DPR is expected to be ready by the end of 2022, said a senior official of Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC) which has been entrusted with the task of implementing the MRTS.
SYSTRA will not only prepare a detailed project feasibility report for rail-based MRTS for all the four cities, it will also identify the possible corridors for operating the metros, conduct a traffic demand analysis and identify growth centres in each of these cities.
High magnitude metro systems given its high capacities and high costs, do not make a case for an appropriate mode to serve the mobility needs of Tier-2 of Tier-3 cities. The Government of India has developed new systems named Metro Neo and Metro Lite which will fit into medium to smaller cities and are expected to be efficient.
Considering long term development needs, the Gujarat government intends to develop such metro systems in four cities and GMRC has been entrusted with the task of implementing these projects.
The Metro Neo or Metro Lite projects will be similar in experience for commuters.
Compared to Ahmedabad metro, these projects will have metros with two or three cars instead of six. When train lengths reduce, the width of stations reduces and costs of the entire project comes down. In other words, compared to Rs 300 cr spent on building one kilometre of phase-1 of Ahmedabad metro, then Metro Lite will cost approximately Rs 150 crore and Metro Neo will cost just Rs 100 crore,” the official added.
The land requirement in Metro Lite and Metro Neo is less as stations are smaller in size. Secondly in some portions, the metros will not need an elevated corridor and will run parallel to the road.
All these bring down the cost of constructing rail-based MRTS in smaller cities.
GMRC which is a 50:50 joint venture between Gujarat government and Government of India is already building metro rail projects in Ahmedabad and Surat cities.