JICA & GoI to build light rail transit systems for tier 2 & 3 cities
RAILWAYS & METRO RAIL

JICA & GoI to build light rail transit systems for tier 2 & 3 cities

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is collaborating with the Government of India to explore the development of light urban transit systems such as Light Metro, Metro Neo, or Light Rail for Tier II and Tier III cities, where full-fledged heavy metro systems may not be commercially viable.

At the recently held ?ET Infra Rail Show,? Vipul Mishra, Senior Development Specialist, JICA India, emphasised that while metro projects like the flagship Delhi Metro network are capital intensive and complex, replicating them in Tier II and Tier III cities with lower population densities is not feasible. Therefore, there is a need for light urban transit systems.

"Since metro projects require a significant Right of Way (RoW) and urban areas and roads are congested, the government is exploring alternative solutions such as Light Metro, Metro Neo, or Light Rail. JICA is aligned with this strategy and is looking to explore opportunities with the Government of India to support these options for Tier II and Tier III cities," Mishra stated.

JICA's support has been instrumental in developing several metro systems in India, with the Delhi Metro being the biggest beneficiary. According to Mishra, approximately 70% of India?s operational metro network has been supported by JICA to date.

Currently, there are proposals to establish light urban transit systems in several Tier II and Tier III cities across the country, including Jammu, Srinagar, Cochin, Varanasi, Coimbatore, and Gorakhpur, among others.

According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the transit systems being developed in major metro cities are of high capacity, necessary for cities with very high ridership and peak hour traffic. "Seeing the success of metro rail in the country, several other cities with lower ridership projections are also aspiring for rail-based mass rapid transit systems, which could be fulfilled by the Light Urban Rail Transit System named ?Metrolite? with lesser capacity at a much lower cost. 'Metrolite' would also act as a feeder system to high-capacity Metro. In addition to lower capital costs, the operation and maintenance costs of ?Metrolite? would also be less, making the system more viable," the ministry stated in its 2019 note on standard specifications for light urban rail transit systems.

According to an estimate by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the cost of building a ?Metrolite? transit system per kilometer is 39-40% lower than that of heavy metro systems. "So, Metrolite, Metro Neo, and Light Rail are alternative options that are emerging through the metro policy of the Government of India. We are now moving towards the second generation of metro systems," Mishra added. (Source: ET)

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is collaborating with the Government of India to explore the development of light urban transit systems such as Light Metro, Metro Neo, or Light Rail for Tier II and Tier III cities, where full-fledged heavy metro systems may not be commercially viable. At the recently held ?ET Infra Rail Show,? Vipul Mishra, Senior Development Specialist, JICA India, emphasised that while metro projects like the flagship Delhi Metro network are capital intensive and complex, replicating them in Tier II and Tier III cities with lower population densities is not feasible. Therefore, there is a need for light urban transit systems. Since metro projects require a significant Right of Way (RoW) and urban areas and roads are congested, the government is exploring alternative solutions such as Light Metro, Metro Neo, or Light Rail. JICA is aligned with this strategy and is looking to explore opportunities with the Government of India to support these options for Tier II and Tier III cities, Mishra stated. JICA's support has been instrumental in developing several metro systems in India, with the Delhi Metro being the biggest beneficiary. According to Mishra, approximately 70% of India?s operational metro network has been supported by JICA to date. Currently, there are proposals to establish light urban transit systems in several Tier II and Tier III cities across the country, including Jammu, Srinagar, Cochin, Varanasi, Coimbatore, and Gorakhpur, among others. According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the transit systems being developed in major metro cities are of high capacity, necessary for cities with very high ridership and peak hour traffic. Seeing the success of metro rail in the country, several other cities with lower ridership projections are also aspiring for rail-based mass rapid transit systems, which could be fulfilled by the Light Urban Rail Transit System named ?Metrolite? with lesser capacity at a much lower cost. 'Metrolite' would also act as a feeder system to high-capacity Metro. In addition to lower capital costs, the operation and maintenance costs of ?Metrolite? would also be less, making the system more viable, the ministry stated in its 2019 note on standard specifications for light urban rail transit systems. According to an estimate by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the cost of building a ?Metrolite? transit system per kilometer is 39-40% lower than that of heavy metro systems. So, Metrolite, Metro Neo, and Light Rail are alternative options that are emerging through the metro policy of the Government of India. We are now moving towards the second generation of metro systems, Mishra added. (Source: ET)

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