Metro track for twin cities on anvil

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  • Published 28.07.10

Bhubneswar, July 27: To reduce road traffic congestion, the state transport department has initiated steps to connect the twin city of Bhubaneswa and Cuttack by metro rail. The service would cover almost 150 km between the two cities touching 20 vital points.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been asked to conduct a survey. Later the state government would undertake the construction work with technical assistance from DMRC. “The work is expected to be over by 2030. The construction work would start from 2020,” said transport secretary Satyabrata Sahu.

The service would be extended upto the expanded areas of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Cuttack Development Authority (CDA). “It means, people can travel from Jatni to Choudwar, about 55 km”, he said.

Considering the cost component, the state government has planned to lay separate over-road tracks for metro rails instead of underground ones.

Trains will sneak through major junctions, covering almost 150 km. Soon after the survey, the state government would make budgetary provisions for laying of tracks.

According to sources, everyday around 20,000 people from Jatni and Khurda come to Bhubaneswar. Similar numbers of people come from Cuttack to the capital city.

“It is expected that the population of the twin cities will cross 50 lakh by the end of 2030. Immediate steps need to be taken to shift traffic congestion. As a solution to the traffic congestion, we have planned to introduce metro rail”, said transport minister Sanjiv Sahu.

Moreover, in another attempt to reduce the pollution level, the state government has also decided to introduce the CNG vehicles in the twin cities.

Initially it would be optional for the three-wheeler and four-wheeler riders to switch over to the CNG mode. But afterwards it would become mandatory, said the transport secretary.

In the first phase, the decision would be implemented in the twin cities. Later, as ONGC is laying gas pipeline from Kakinada to Haldia, the CNG vehicles would be introduced in other major cities like Rourkela, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Balasore.

CNG depots would be opened at the present petrol pump sites. While there are 48 filling stations in Bhubaneswar, nearly 40 filling stations are operating in Cuttack. “Availing of the CNG gas would be cost-effective,” the transport minister said.

The Confederation of Citizen Federation (CCF) has appreciated the two initiatives of the transport department. “The department should have planned it much before. We have been pressing for such steps since long. However, the department officials should expedite the entire process,” said Subhransu Rath, general secretary, CCF.

During 2008 there were 85 minor and major accidents in Bhubaneswar city in which 35 persons died. In 2009, the road accident cases jumped to 137 killing 41 persons.

Accident cases on NH-5 have also taken a sharp rise during these two years. While there were 56 accidents cases reported in 2008, the number rose to 71 in 2009.

“This shows how the city roads and the NH have become a potential mishap zone. The transport department should take up the issue seriously and measures to reduce traffic congestion are to be taken immediately,” Rath said.