The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 1 billion (about Rs 7,485 crore) loan to support the construction of the modern, high-speed Delhi-Meerut regional rapid transit system, a first of its kind in India.
The transit system project aims to help decongest the city and improve regional connectivity by establishing transit options through densely populated sections of the NCR connecting Delhi to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
Delhi accounts for 37 per cent of the population of the national capital region (NCR).
"Efficient and integrated transport solutions are critical for managing the rapid urbanisation and ensuring balanced urban development of the region," said ADB Principal Transport Specialist Sharad Saxena.
"This project will also provide safe, reliable and seamless travel between Delhi and other NCR cities and pave the way for a paradigm shift in mobility across the NCR," he said in a statement on Tuesday.
The 82-km Delhi-Meerut regional rapid transit system network is the first of three priority rail corridors in the country's integrated transport network under the NCR regional plan 2021.
This project will finance the construction of railway tracks, station buildings, maintenance facilities and traction and power supply.
The system will use advanced, high technology signalling systems based on latest standards and will have multimodal hubs to ensure smooth interchange with other transport modes. The design of the stations will feature and consider the needs of the elderly, women, children and differently-abled.
Financing for the project will be implemented in four tranches between August 2020 and May 2025. The Indian government will provide USD 1.89 billion and co-financiers are expected to provide USD 1 billion of the total project cost of USD 3.94 billion.
A USD 3 million grant from ADB's Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will support various activities, including the provision of visual, hearing and mobility aids like wheelchairs for differently-abled persons.
Training for women and differently-abled on safe mobility and employment opportunities and behavioural change for public transport providers will also be given.
The project is expected to deliver integrated transformational impacts and better urban environment through systematic urban and land use planning as well as reduced carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution, said ADB.
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