Monday, June 22, 2009

Keeping an Eye on Games, Public Transport Gets High Boost

With 2010 Commonwealth Games a little more than a year away, improving transportation facilities continued to be high on the government’s agenda. Monday’s budget was indicative of it with a whopping 31% of the total outlay, Rs 3,069 crore, allocated to this sector. Though no new projects were announced, the money was to be used to fund ongoing schemes like construction of Delhi Metro, procurement of 2,500 new DTC buses and building new flyovers, underpasses and rail over-bridges.

In a scenario where the number of vehicles in Delhi was set to cross the 60 lakh mark, the move to encourage public transport would go a long way in easing congestion.

The government announced that work on nine new Delhi Metro corridors was progressing on schedule. All the new lines, which will add another 185 km to the existing network, would be operational by October 2010.

Funds have also been allocated for 2,500 new DTC buses that will hit the roads before March next year. The purchase order for these buses has already been placed. The Union government agreed to partially fund 1,500 more buses for Delhi under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)

In addition to buses, funds have also been set aside for new road infrastructure projects like flyovers, underpasses, rail overbridges and road resurfacing. The construction of flyovers/ROBs is gaining pace at RR Kohli Marg, Shastri Nagar Pushta, Azadpur, BJ Marg-RTR Marg, Africa Avenue, Nelson Mandela Marg, Naraina and underpasses at ITO Chungi. Work on Barapullah Nallah Road and Salimgarh Bypass projects have also started.

Further, an amount of Rs 111.61 crore has been released to MCD for construction of 17 ROBs to be completed before October 2010. Another Rs 80 crore has been released to MCD to develop a modern parking for the new DTC buses.