In a boost to urban transport, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that metro rail and NaMo Bharat will be expanded to major cities.
"Expansion of these systems will be supported in large cities focusing on transit-oriented development," Sitharaman said while presenting the Interim Budget in the Lok Sabha.
In her hour-long budget speech, Sitharaman said metro rail and NaMo Bharat can be the catalyst for the required urban transformation.
As of November 2023, India has 895 kilometres (556 miles) of operational metro lines.
According to Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, India's metro network will surpass the United States' in the next two to three years, making it the second largest in the world. The metro network in India is currently the third biggest in the world.
"In 2014, only 248 km of metro rail was operational in India. Merely in 9 years, 895 km of metro lines are operational in 20 different cities today," he said.
Popularly known as Namo Bharat, the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), is a new rail-based system with a designed speed potential of 180 kmph and operational speed potential of 160 kmph, making them semi-high speed train sets.
The initiative is designed to provide high-speed trains for intercity commuting every 15 minutes, which can go up to a frequency of every five minutes according to requirement.
With an average speed of 100 kmph, these indigenously manufactured trains will be much faster than the metro and the Indian Railways' trains.
Currently, three RRTS corridors are planned for implementation in the the National Capital Region in the first phase. These include the 82-km-long Delhi-Meerut, 198-km stretch of Delhi-Gurugram-SNB (Shahjahanpur-Neemrana-Behror Urban Complex)-Alwar and the 103-km Delhi-Panipat stretch.
In the next phase(s), five additional lines will be developed. These are Delhi–Faridabad–Ballabgarh-Palwal, Ghaziabad-Khurja, Delhi- Bahadurgarh-Rohtak, Ghaziabad-Hapur and Delhi-Shahdara-Baraut.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!