Known more for their nostalgic value in Old Delhi and symbolic presence in pockets of Kolkata, trams are set to stage a comeback in the National Capital Region. If the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) has Its way, tramway services may be introduced as feeder lines to the proposed Metro Rail along the expressway to Agra, in a few years from now •••
Though the feeder tramway network to the proposed Metro Rail along the expressway to Agra is still on the drawing board and may take up to two years to even start the work the very idea of having trams in the region is a source of excitement to young and old alike. Equally enthused are town planners and developers with this novel proposal.
In a chat with Realty & More, PC Gupta, CEO of YEIDA, disclosed that the authority is planning to set up a Metro rail along the expressway to Agra. This, he said, will be an extension of the Noida-Greater Noida Metro Rail.
Gupta told Realty & More: ‘A tramway network is being planned as feeder lines to the proposed Metro. We are making a proposal regarding this that will be presented to the board.” At a meeting on February 3, the YEIDA board gave its nod to the tramways and Metro services proposal and it was widely covered by the entire media. Gupta informed newspersons after the board meeting, The tram and metro services have been proposed to facilitate seamless movement between Greater Noida and Noida.”
“In December last year, we asked for EOls (Expression of Interest) for the tramway project. Thirteen companies have submitted EOls, which are mostly global companies and have worked on tramways in many European countries and they have some collaborations with Indian companies too,” Gupta had told Realty& More earlier.
The CEO however hastened to add that all this will take longer as the work on the Metro rail feasibility report has to come first. “After that, will be the DPR. The tramway work will start later,” he emphasised.
Irrespective of the long wait, the very idea of seeing trams running on the NCR roads has excited many. A middle-aged couple who has been a witness to the heydays of trams plying in Purani Dilli, told Realty & More: “We were, in any case, planning to buy a property in the serene surroundings of newly-developed NCR area because of its wide roads, minimal traffic and massive greenery. The tramways may just prove to be the clincher.” Their young children, who have never enjoyed a tram ride, are equally ecstatic about the development.
Tram transport was set up in India by the British in the 19th century. Although discontinued in most cities between 1930 and 1960, at present, only Kolkata has the sole public tram system in the country. Delhi’s tram system started operating from March 6, 1908, till about 1963. At its zenith in 1921, there were 24 open cars on about 15 km of track.
While reviving old-world nostalgia and proving to be a tourist attraction as well, the tramway proposal is part of YEIDAs efforts to enhance connectivity in the ever-growing region. As reported by Realty & More in its December issue, Metro trains may soon engulf the key locations in Noida and Greater Noida areas along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway.
Already, the development agencies are in various stages of planning and negotiations with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to extend the Metro connectivity in the region. And not is topping at that, they are even exploring novel or alternative models of transport. YEIDAs proposal to run a light Metro on the 20-km Pad Chowk to Sector 20 route along the high-speed e-way is a significant step in that direction. The introduction of tramway services may prove to be yet another feather in the cap of NCR in trying to provide a 360-degree transport network.
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