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Bansal bypasses urban rail wish

The mono or metro rail dream of the city residents suffered a jolt on Tuesday with neither figuring in rail minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s budget.

The residents expected Bansal to allocate some funds for at least one of the urban rail modes. The cold shoulder to both came as a rude shock to people, tired of negotiating traffic congestion.

“The traffic problem in the city seems to be increasing with every passing day. Most city streets have reached saturation point. The Centre and the state government should ensure concrete progress in the urban rail project at the earliest,” said Satyendra Jha, a resident of Kankerbagh.

The feasibility study for monorail is lying idle with the Indian Railways for past several months. The same for metro rail is yet to be conducted.

In March 2009, Indian Railways had appointed M/s RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Services) as the technical consultant for examining the feasibility of monorail in the city. It is supposed to act as a feeder to Patna Junction. RITES had conducted survey along four proposed monorail corridors in the city, stretching around 32km.

“The draft final report for monorail was submitted to the Union ministry of railways last August. We have not received any directive thereafter,” a senior executive of RITES told The Telegraph.

The state urban development and housing department, on the other hand, claimed that tenders for conducting the feasibility study of urban rail would be floated soon. “The bid documents for techno-economic feasibility study for the urban rail are being prepared and we would float tenders soon,” said S. Siddharth, the urban development and housing department secretary.