Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 8:
There is good new for commuters in the Twin City of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar and nearby area: the whole of Odisha capital region comprising Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jatni and Choudwar will be covered under a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) by 2020.
The blueprint for the project prepared by Hyderabad-based agency, Balaji Railroad Systems Limited (BARSYL) was discussed at a high-level meeting chaired by Development Commissioner UN Behera held at the state secretariat here on Friday.
Sources privy to the proceedings of the meeting revealed that BARSYL has identified three routes for the MRTS project all of which pass through the cities. The three identified routes are Nandankanan- Jayadev Vihar Road, alongside Bhubaneswar-Cuttack national highway and alongside the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack railway route. After the state government decides on which route the MRTS project will be implemented, detailed project report (DPR) for the project will be prepared, they added.
Reliable sources revealed that the project will be implemented in the land lying between the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack national highway and the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack rail route.
A committee with the Transport Commissioner as its chairperson will be formed to decide which route out of the three suggested by BARSYL will be the most suitable for carrying out of MRTS. The committee will have a senior engineer of East Coast Railways (ECoR), Commissioner, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Vice-Chairman Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), engineers from BMC and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and senior officials of the Urban Development department as its members. A decision in this regard will be taken very soon, revealed sources. The committee will conduct a survey on MRTS after it’s constituted.
While choosing the route for MRTS, the committee will otp for the one that will be comparatively easier for laying of railway tracks, will require minimal eviction of people, will touch more places, more number of people can use it for commuting and there should be scope for development of markets near its stations.
BARSYL has been paid Rs 2.52 crore as consultancy fee for preparing the DPR of the project. The selection was made through a competitive bidding.
According to an official of the Housing and Urban Development department, it was initially decided to start MRTS between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Since Bhubaneswar-Cuttack corridor was witnessing huge infrastructure development and the state government in the vision 2030 document is looking to make these two cities a compact area that becomes a world-class urban complex. MRTS between the twin cities was extended to other surrounding urban centres like Jatni and Choudwar, the official added. The length of the route will be around 50 km.