Shillong mulls light overhead rail

The Meghalaya government is planning to introduce overhead light commuter trains to solve the traffic congestion here.

By Rining Lyngdoh in Shilong
  • Published 21.08.17
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A congested road in Shillong. Telegraph picture

Shillong, Aug. 20: The Meghalaya government is planning to introduce overhead light commuter trains to solve the traffic congestion here.

The move came after the idea of constructing flyovers in the city became impossible because of land and space constraints.

Traffic congestion has become a daily routine here. The snarls are such that all roads within the city, including the national highways, are always choked.

There are times when vehicles take more than an hour to cover a distance of 7km.

The idea of introducing overhead light commuter train was proposed recently during a presentation made by little known C-train Corporation, formed by engineers from India, which had first conducted research on how to address traffic congestion by introducing public transport service based on the conditions of a location.

Meghalaya urban affairs minister Ronnie V. Lyngdoh said engineers from C-train Corporation, during the presentation, explained the new concept where light commuter trains would ply overhead the existing roads in the city.

Lyngdoh said the engineers told the government that to construct the rail track, iron and steel girders would be erected on both sides of the existing roads - in the form of an arc - so that the track could be laid overhead.

When asked if getting space for the project would be an issue, Lyngdoh said space would not be a problem since the rail track for the proposed project would be laid on top of the existing roads without erecting the girders in the middle of the road.

"In this way, vehicles will also ply on existing roads underneath the overhead rail track," he said.

According to Lyngdoh, the idea was interesting, and if it was feasible, Meghalaya would be the first to introduce this mode of transport in the country.

"The engineers told us that no country in the world has implemented this idea and so far, this mode of transport is being planned only in some parts of the USA," Lyngdoh said.

Lyngdoh said the new mode of transport would rely on electricity for its operation, but would not consume much.

The minister said the state government would hold a meeting again with C-train Corporation as well as with a consultancy firm, WAPCOS, to understand the feasibility of the proposed project.