When the race for 100 smart cities started, Chandigarh was among the contenders and one of the reason was the proposed metro transportation. A rapid transport system that’d connect the Tricity .i.e. Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali through underground corridors.
Its been almost a decade and not even a feet of digging appears to be happening. What happened, why the delay? Well, to understand the delay first the budget needs an understanding. The proposal expected to cost anywhere around $1.6 Billion (Rs. 113.75 billion). The Chandigarh administration will contribute Rs. 90 billion, Punjab Government will part Rs. 16.8 Billion and the Haryana Government was expected to collect rest of the Rs. 7 Billion was expected to be collected by
The project was supposed to be completed in two phases with the first phase costing Rs.89.95 billion and the rest was estimated for the phase 2. The transit system was to cover all of the Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali covering all the major spots like PGI, Punjab University, Timber Market, ISBT 17, IT Park and Housing Board chowk to mark the entrance into Panchkula.
The Idea was a flop?
If everything was planned so carefully and if the routes were planned as well, what did go wrong and where? In 2017, an advisory committee of Home Ministry got together and Rajnath Singh, looking at the proposal, called it not viable as project cost too much. And asked the officers to look for other alternatives as the mode of transportation.
Later the Chandigarh administration admitted that the cost of 14,000 crore was not feasible for the city. Before that, MP Kirron Kher already gave a big resentment related to the project saying its not ideal for the city and instead the administration should look forward to ring roads. Moreover, both the Punjab and Haryana government refused to provide their consent in support to the project.
But, hey! The hope is still there as Chandigarh Administration is now planning a monorail system for the city. It’s a single track railroad system that runs over it. Mumbai has introduced kind of a same concept. A Swiss company gave a presentation to the Chandigarh administration and things looked positive until an officer said it’s a no go.
The project looked plausible and it runs on clean electrical energy so its environment friendly too. But the CA rules out any possibility of it happening anytime soon. At least not for upcoming 2 decades. The budget proposed was estimated to be near 12,000 crore which again wasn’t viable from the administration’s perspective.
So what’s there for Chandigarh now. Is the light at the end of the tunnel gone? Not exactly, Kunal Bansal Chandigarh says. There’s still hope and private companies are gearing up to contribute well over 80% of the
Meanwhile, the department said they will be decommissioning all the non-ac buses soon replacing them with the AC only (red bus) for the intercity transportation.
What Kunal Bansal Chandigarh Thinks About the Plan?
Well, scrapping the idea was logical given the extravagant cost. And as the city is still quite young to have another mode of transportation. Plus, metro is justified in the cities like Delhi and Mumbai seeing the overwhelming population they have there and it was also to reduce the vehicle congestion on the road.
In Chandigarh, the roads aren’t that flooded, population is still quite manageable and people can commute easily throughout the cities. What we need at this moment is a better infrastructure, more vehicle connectivity and better public transportation system.
In the upcoming decade or so, the population will rise like swarms in the city. Chances are the transportation we have now might not be sufficient enough to carry the load. And then we might get to see
Another reason to shelf the plan is that it will interfere with the beauty of the city. We call it city beautiful for a reason and elevated bridges everywhere and pillars and standalone stations may snatch the tag. Anyways, its upto Authorities what they decide in the favour of the city. According to Kunal Bansal Chandigarh, a good decision will always be made welcome by the residents of Chandigarh.