At a time when the Rajasthan government is planning to raze the under-utilised and accident-prone Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridor, the Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC) has coined an idea to run low-cost Metro Neo service in the corridor.
According to officials, this new mode of Mass Rapid Transit System can provide a safe, eco-friendly, comfortable and reliable transportation alternative to Jaipur, without disturbing the existing infrastructure.
A source said, “This cheaper alternative to conventional metro rail has become the new buzzword for cities across India, including Delhi and Mumbai. After a recent traffic survey in the city, there is a finding that Metro Neo service could easily replace buses in the 7.3 metre wide existing corridor.”
An official explained Metro Neo, which is more like an electric trolleybus, costs Rs 71 crore per km. “Metro Neo corridor is a rail guided urban transport system with rubber-tyred electric coaches powered by an overhead traction system running on elevated or at-grade sections. Its coaches are made of stainless steel or aluminium, and are slightly lighter and smaller than conventional metro rakes,” he said.
Many town planners and engineers also believe that removal Rs 500-crore infrastructure will have negligible impact and the corridor should be put to effective use. A senior official of Jaipur Development Authority (JDA), on condition of anonymity, said, “The capacity of two lanes is 1,200 PCUs (passenger car units). When number of cars exceed the road capacity (volume to capacity more than 1), a high-capacity transport system is required, including BRTS, Metro etc.
The state government can consider the proposal or make bus service effective after establishing proper monitoring system,” he added. Many opined that the Metro Neo project could prove feasible if it’s run on entire BRTS network. Till date, JDA has constructed 7km on north-south corridor (Sikar Road) against the sanctioned 26km.
Similarly, against the sanctioned 13km, only 8km has been constructed on east-west corridor. The project could easily provide swift passage between Khatipura Mod and the airport. It could also turn into an easy mode of commute between Sikar Road and Railway Station. “The estimated speed will be approx 30 kmph as it has to stop at junctions. It could carry over 1.80 lakh commuters initially, which are buses passengers. Moreover, the state could take Centre’s assistance in funding the project,” said a JMRC source.