Once complete, it will reduce traffic congestion on the roads as well as cut vehicular pollution in the National Capital Region

The New Development Bank (NDB) and the Government of India signed a loan agreement for lending USD 500 million for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Project (RRTS) on Thursday. The project will provide a fast, reliable, safe, and comfortable public transport system in the National Capital Region (NCR). The loan has a tenor of 25 years with an eight-year grace period.

The USD 3,749-million-project, financed by the NDB, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, and government and other sources, will enable sustainable economic and social development with environmental protection, for future generations.

The RRTS will carry many times more people at high speed (average speed 100 kmph) while occupying just 3-meter space on land, thus reducing congestion on the roads. Overall, it will significantly reduce the total emissions from the transport sector in the NCR, which is one of the most polluted regions in the world, a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance said.

The daily passenger traffic along the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor in NCR is estimated at 0.69 million, of which 63% utilize private vehicles for commuting. Right now, a road journey between Delhi and Meerut often takes as much as four hours during peak traffic.

The NCR is among the world’s largest urban agglomerations and a major economic center of India. By 2030, due to high congestion, it is expected to become the most populous urban agglomeration in the world, which will increase pressure on basic infrastructures such as housing, water supply, electricity, and transport.

“Fast transit system will support in achieving the goal of sustainable urban development in the NCR region including the National Capital Territory of Delhi. It will activate processes which will enable sustainable economic and social development with environmental protection, for future generations,” the statement said.

The agreement was signed by Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance Baldeo Purushartha on behalf of the Government of India, Janardan Prasad on behalf of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Vinay Kumar Singh, Managing Director on behalf of the National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited and Mr.Xian Zhu, Vice President, Chief Operations Officer on behalf of the NDB.

Speaking at the event, Purushartha said, “Seamless high-speed connectivity will result in balanced economic development across the Region leading to economic benefits to all strata of society and many nodes of development rather than all economic activity happening at one place”.

The VP and COO of NDB Xian Zhu said, “NDB funding will be provided to finance rolling stock for modern design, energy-efficient operations, and interoperability across corridors. NDB funds will also be utilized for procuring signaling, telecommunication, and train control system with advanced features such as automatic train operation, automatic train protection, automatic train supervision, and integration with platform screen doors. The Project can serve as a demonstration for developing high capacity rapid urban transit corridors in other urban areas of India.”