Srinagar: Frequent traffic snarls and long travel durations will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the much-awaited Srinagar Metrolite.
Metro rail will finally chug in Srinagar from 2025. Jammu and Kashmir administration has finally set the deadline for the completion of the much-awaited Metrolite project in Srinagar.
“All phases of the project will be completed in four years,” said an official document.
Metrolite project, which is being executed by RITES Ltd. will cost around Rs 4892 crore.
The UT administration has been awaiting the Union Cabinet nod for the project. The DPR was submitted to the Centre for appraisal and funding last year after an administrative council headed by the then LG GC Murmu approved in February 2020.
Srinagar Mass Rapid Transit Corporation and Srinagar Smart city will also look after various aspects of the Metrolite project to prevent its overlapping with vehicular traffic. “The project has various technicalities, which need to be overlooked. From environmental aspects to security, the project has to be free from any flaw,” said an official.
24 stations and two corridors
As per the document, the first phase of the project will have two corridors and 24 stations.
The first corridor spread over 12.5 kilometers will be from Indira Nagar to HMT. “The second corridor with equal length will be from Hazuribagh to Osmanabad. Both corridors will have 12 stations each,” the document said
The document said that around 491 kanals of land would be acquired for the project. Of which, 12.76 hectares is state land, 11.85 hectares of private land, and 0.24 hectares of central government land.
The alignment of the Metrolite is mostly through the roads and at the time of construction of the pier, the barricading will be at 8 meter on the road. “After construction, the viaduct width will be 7 meter and the pier dia will be 2.20 meters after construction,” the document said.
View cutter and bulletproof shields
Given the situation in the city, the document said all the security concerns have been taken into account.
“There will be security installations along the alignment of the metro. General security steps regarding the Metrolite have been taken into account,” the document said.
The document said the Metrolite will be equipped with a view cutter and bulletproof shield “to make it a secure place for the passengers.”
“There will be the use of view cutter and bulletproof shields in the areas with security installation. It has been clarified by RITES that the inclusion will be made at the Detailed Design Stage during implementation,” it said.
Integration with existing transport services
As per the document, the project will have a complete Multi-Modal Integration (MMI) with the existing transport services in the city like buses, railway, and water transport.
“As part of MMI, the Metrolite system has been integrated with all major passenger modes and nodes including proposals for NMT (pedestrian, bicycle-sharing) fare and information physical and operation integration,” it said.
“The bus services are already integrated with Metrolite. There will be a Metrolite station near the bus stand and in the case of the railway station there will be feeder connectivity like buses in phase-1 from the Metrolite station to railway station as well as to airport,” the document added.
Earlier this month, the divisional commissioner Kashmir P K Pole chaired a meeting to deliberate over the entire idea of Metrolite project, its alignment, land acquisition, system parameters, alternative routes for traffic, stabling depots, shifting of utilities, multi-model system linkages, and integration of bus stand, cycle stand, and rickshaw stand beside footpath up-gradation.
Respite to passengers
Locals welcomed the administration’s decision of starting the metro rail service in the next four years.
“The metro rail service is the need of an hour. People are suffering due to the overloading and frequent stops by minibusses. Traffic jams equally have choked our entire vehicular traffic system against which metro rail service is a good solution,” said Muneer Ahmad, a student.
It is equally going to help the tourists. “Tourists sometimes want to explore the city, but they struggle to find affordable transport. Metrolite will be a good option for them,” said Umar Ahmad, a travel agent.