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Govt for more tramways in mid-sized cities, says it’s less expensive than metro, rail systems

The Government said that there should be more tramways in a medium- sized city in India to cater all transportation problems of the people.

“I feel we should carry out a pilot project in a medium- sized city in India and if we are successful, we should replicate it in more medium-sized cities. They should also be used in larger cities as supplements to the high capacity modes,” Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath said.

“The construction of guideways for trams was a process which is faster, less expensive and minimised neighbourhood disruption in comparison to construction of a metro or rail system,” he said.

Metro projects are highly capital intensive and may not be the most suitable mode of transport for all Indian cities, Nath said, suggesting that tramway projects be tried for mid-sized cities.

Operating costs are lower and the ability of trams to negotiate sharp bends minimises the need for land acquisition making it ideal for the urban environment.

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Speaking at a Indo-French seminar to discuss ‘Next Generation Tram Ways Solutions’, he said metro projects were being given very high priority by the government and were under implementation in many cities across the country.

“However, metro is a high capacity mode of mass rapid transport and is very capital intensive. Therefore, it will be difficult to provide Metro connectivity in all large cities and most of the medium capacity cities. Besides, a metro network may also not be the most suitable.

“If you look at the configuration of Indian cities you will see Indian cities are low rise urban sprawls and require medium capacity modes only. Even in mega cities there are low demand corridors,” he said.

Nath said that as per the recommendation of the working group on urban transport for the 12th five year plan, light rail transport should be provided in all cities with a population of a million. He said there are 53 such cities.

“All these cities are candidates for introduction of a medium capacity mode,” Nath said.

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The three low capacity modes, the bus rapid transport, light rail transport and mono-rail have their own advantages in different situations, he said.

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