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Monorail process takes off

- Private firm to prepare detailed project report

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 23: The mass rapid transit system (MRTS) with a monorail between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will become a reality shortly.

The housing and urban development department today signed an “award of contract” with Balaji Railroad Systems Ltd (BARSYL), a Hyderabad-based company, for preparation of a detailed project report (DPR) in this regard. The company would be paid Rs 2.52 crore for preparing the DPR, which it is expected to submit within 10 months.

The project, aimed at easing the traffic congestion between the twin cities, which are 30 kms apart, envisages a total investment of over Rs 2,250 crore. The cost will be shared equally by the state and the Centre, the latter providing the funds under the Urban Transport Planning scheme.

The MRTS for the twin cities becomes necessary considering the fact that the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack corridor is witnessing vast infrastructure development, an official said, adding that the facility at a later stage would be expanded so as to cater to Jatni, Khurda, Barang and Chowdwar. Together, this entire area would be known as the Bhubanes-war Cuttack Urban Complex (BCUC) with its population likely to touch 42 lakh by 2030.

Housing and urban development minister Pushpendra Singh Deo said: “The MRTS will help ensure better traffic movement.”

The MRTS has been developed as a part of the Centre’s scheme to encourage cities with more than two million population to plan and implement high-capacity and high-speed monorail system in order to provide safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable and sustainable mode of public transport. The DPR will include a plan for civil work, cost, implementation strategy and institutional arrangement.

Managing director of BARSYL Sunil Srivastav said: “Once the MRTS is introduced, it will help take polluting buses and cars off the road.”