With reference to the proposed' Rail-based Mass Rapid Transport System' (MRTS)— or as commonly known as' Metro Railway' — in Guwahati, the Assam government still has to decide on the mode of transportation as well as its funding part.
On Wednesday, at his office chamber in Dispur, a team of RITES (Railway Infrastructure Technical & Economic Services) gave a presentation on the proposed Guwahati MRTS to Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Minister of Guwahati Development Department (GDD). The RITES showed three MRTS modes. These are the Metro Train, the Metro Lite System, and the Rapid Elevated Bus System. In Guwahati (Metro), the RITES also identified four corridors for the MRTS.
Talking to the media after the RITES presentation, Minister Bhattacharya said, “We have taken a step forward with respect to the Guwahati MRTS project. Now, the GDD will prepare a Cabinet note on MRTS, and each of the four identified corridors. The Cabinet note will also cover the financial aspects of each of the three modes shown to us by RITES. We will convey our decision to RITES in four months’ time.”
Dwelling on the vital funding part of the MRTS project in Guwahati, Minister Bhattacharya pointed out, “We’ll look for financing the selected project through international funding agencies like JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and World Bank among others.”
He further said, “We hope to ground the project within six months after the DPR is approved by the Government of India.”
Notably, the Union Cabinet gives the final nod not only to the complete DPRs (Detailed Project Reports) but also to the funding aspects of such projects across the country.
On February 23, 2016, Guwahati Metro Rail Corporation Limited (GMRCL) was created by the then State Cabinet. After that, on February 29, 2016, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi laid the foundation of the Guwahati Metro Railway project.
Nevertheless, following the change of guards at Dispur later in 2016, the whole plan was scrapped by the BJP-led coalition government in Assam. RITES were asked to prepare the DPR (Detailed Report of the Project). From 2013 to 2015, the DPR was based on data from the survey study. In 2017, it proposed the DPR to the government of the state.
However, following the issuance of the' Metro Rail Policy-2017,' the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), the Government of India, announced that for any such projects within the country,' CMP' and' AA' will need to be provided together with the DPR. The' CMP' refers to' Global Mobility Plan,' while' AA ' refers to' Alternate Analysis.' These two mandatory reports have reportedly been prepared by the RITES, which are now being approved by the authorities concerned.
Notably, not only the full DPRs (Detailed Project Reports) but also the financing aspects of such projects across the country are given the final nod by the Union Cabinet.
The Union Ministry also classified the cities and offered some guidelines for such MRTS projects to be undertaken. The proposed MRTS plan is now proceeding in accordance with the policy guidelines in Guwahati (Metro).