The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $1 billion loan to support construction of the modern, high-speed Delhi–Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System, a first of its kind in India.
Delhi accounts for 37% of the population of the National Capital Region (NCR) of India. The transit system project aims to help decongest the city and improve regional connectivity by establishing transit options through the densely populated sections of the NCR connecting Delhi to Meerut in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
“Efficient and integrated transport solutions are critical for managing the rapid urbanization 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.”
The 82-kilometer Delhi–Meerut regional rapid transit system (RRTS) 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 RRTS will use advanced, high technology signaling 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 Government of India will provide $1.89 billion and cofinanciers are expected to provide $1 billion of the total project cost of $3.94 billion. A $3 million grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will support various activities, including provision of visual, hearing and mobility aids, such as wheelchairs for differently abled persons. Training for women and differently abled on safe mobility and employment opportunities and behavioral 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.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.