The government Tuesday approved construction of a Rs 30,274 crore worth Regional Rapid Transport System (RRTS) to connect the national capital with Meerut through Ghaziabad.
According to the government, the 82 kilometer-stretch will be covered in less than 60 minutes by high-speed and green public transit.
The approval was given at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The RRTS is a first-of-its-kind, rail-based, high-speed regional transit system to be implemented in India. Once operational, it will be the fastest, most comfortable and safest mode of commuter transport in the National Capital Region (NCR).
"The Cabinet has approved construction of Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) covering a distance of 82.15 kilometres," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the meeting.
Of the 82.15 kms, 68.03 kilometers would be elevated and 14.12 kms would be underground. The project cost would be Rs 30,274 crore, he said.
The RRTS trains will reduce pollution and road congestion taking more than one lakh private vehicles off-road. High speed mobility will also drive balanced socio-economic growth with increased economic activities and will improve quality of life of citizens, an official said.
Metro services with 12 stations on 18 kilometers stretch between Modipuram and Meerut South stations on the RRTS infrastructure will meet the local mobility needs of citizens of Meerut, besides providing efficient regional connectivity.
The project is proposed to be undertaken by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) namely the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) as a joint ownership of the Centre and State Governments with equal contribution.
"RRTS stations will be seamlessly integrated with other transport modes like Airport, Railway, Metro, ISBTs and will be inter-operable ensuring that change of train is not required for moving from one RRTS corridor to another," the NCRTC stated in a statement.
It stated that Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor is first of the three prioritized corridors planned for implementation in Phase-1. The other two are Delhi-Gurugram-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat Corridors.