Sensing the potential transportation challenges with the ever-expanding urbanisation, the government is set to introduce a new mass transport system in the form of Light Rail Transit (LRT) Metrolite for tier-2 and tier-3 cities, the Times of India reports.
LRT Metrolite will be dedicated rail corridors with tracks on surface similar to railways, instead of elevated or underground stretches of the Metro rail corridors.
Having Metrolite corridors would cost 40 per cent lesser than going for conventional Metro networks, said urban affairs secretary, DS Mishra. The Ministry of Urban Affairs has prepared a detailed plan for the Metrolite and has sent them to the Railway Ministry.
“BJP, in its poll manifesto, has promised to introduce Metro rail in 50 cities. The traditional Metro network, which requires huge capital investment, may not be viable in many smaller cities. There won’t be enough ridership as well. So, in those cases we can go for Metrolite network,” said an official.
At present, 657 km of Metro rail network is operational, and another 800 km is under construction across 27 cities in the country.
With the Nagpur, Kochi and Jaipur Metro networks not getting enough ridership and churning out low revenue, the government is mulling to bring in a new solution in the form of Metrolite. Kochi Metro’s annual loss is said to be around Rs 25 crores.
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