Saturday, June 30, 2012

Light Rail Transit for Salt Lake / New Town

We had a meeting today at Writers' Buildings that was co-chaired by Mr Sudhir Krishna, Secretary, UD, Govt of India and Mr Samar Ghosh, Chief Secretary. The Institute of Urban Transport (IUT) gave a presentation based on their study on the Kolkata Tram System. I learnt that historically, Mumbai, Delhi, Patna, Kanpur, Chennai and Nasik have run tram services but it is only in Kolkata that the trams still operate. We were also told that around the world, 343 Tramway / Light Rail Transport systems are operating in the World.
We discussed the pros and cons.
I felt that the elevated Light Rail System (LRT) could be a possibility in Salt Lake / New Town Rajarhat:
LRT is the modern version of Tram
Study for Salt Lake & New Town Rajarhat to be done
It was suggested by IUT that instead of a pure Govt or pure PPP project, a quick model is to have the construction work by the Govt and a BOT Operator could manage the Rolling Stock and Operations/ Maintenance. I informed that in Rajarhat New Town we have already commissioned a study and that Monorail is also an option. In fact, few days ago, EIL (Engineers India Ltd) approached me at Hidco and stated that they would make a specific proposal for Monorail in New Town). UD Department will also consider doing that for Salt Lake.
* * *
We got our first application yesterday for legal transfer of Salt Lake land. The application said that they were an elderly couple whose son stayed in Delhi and daughter in USA and they would like to stay with their son after disposing of their property. I sent my officer to talk to them to expalin the procedures. Here is a picture of the house that took on my mobile phone camera:
 I had a meeting yesterday with Inspector General of Registration, Mr Biswajit Ganguly, my old colleague, and ADSR. I am trying to tone up my own deprtment so that we can offer a good service delivery to those who wish to transfer property in Salt Lake legally.


  1. 1. I sincerely hope that LRT/Monorail or any similar form of transport becomes a reality at NewTown. Good luck with that. Kindly comment on the economic feasibility of such projects.

    If I may suggest, could these urban transport initiatives be brought under the umbrella of a govt. limited company (newly formed) and government bonds issued for the same? If these projects are economically feasible, then these would provide additional finance. Plus, it would be more sustainable as a public limited company would be more flexible towards market demands and could increase fares instead of running on losses. Just a thought.

    2. Off the track - I noticed fire department conducting a Fire Drill with a mechanized ladder in our office (DLF IT Park) that almost reached our top-floor. That was quite interesting! I hope NewTown has more of those Volvo-fire trucks with ladder system. This was a good initiative and I want to thank everyone involved through your forum.

    3. Also, could we have shade trees planted in AA-IIC? It still looks a little barren with only concrete structures and plain lands.

    best regards...

  2. 2 sincere requests for things which you are not managing directly.

    1. If possible, please get the current trams also modernized. That can be turned into a nice tourist attraction.
    2. Also, if possible, please take a look for the landscaping of VIP Road. I came to Kolkata on Friday night and its in a horrible state. Huge amount of dust and shrubs, the trident lamps on one side were not glowing, no footpath is there and no effort currently is there for the widening of the road also. In a small stretch, the flyover work has started and at 11:30 in the night, there was a huge bottleneck at Kestopur because no traffic control was there. Also the slums and "jhopporpatti" seem to be increasing now-a-days.

  3. In my first submission here, though not directly related to to Saltlake. I would draw your attention that while developing Newtown-Rajarhat, please not ignore the nearest hinterland arterial roads and areas like Rajarhat Crossing to Lauhati towards Haroa Road and Bhangar Road- these roads are veru narrow but needs to be made four-lane due to huge potential surge of traffic and a lot of future settlements in those areas.

    Anyway, I appreciate your blog bringing matters of public interest before the public in a dignified manner and pray for your and Bengal's success.

  4. @Gautam Maitra: This is indeed needed to be attended to. On my part, I have sent a note o PWD drawing their attention to the issue.

  5. Sir,

    It is a wonderful experience seeing the information that you are sharing with us. It truly gives the feeling - "Govt. with the people". Sharing information like the one on the first application for legal tranfer of land and most importantly the steps you are making to have a suitable and friendly process in the Department is make one feel that the Govt. is out there trying to do its best for the people.
    Thank you sir!

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  7. Mono rail in Kolkata is my dream. And it is very helpfull to be implemented in Kolkata. Eagerly waiting for it. How about below routes for monorail:

    1. Sealdah Stn - Park Circus - Gariahat - Dhakuria - Jadavpur - Garia
    2. Ruby - Kasba - Gariahat - Rasbehari - Chetla - New Alipur - Taratala
    3. Saltlake karunamoyee - Beleghata - College Street - Sealdah Stn
    4. DumDum Air port - Nagerbazar - VIP road - Ultadanga - sovabajar Metro

  8. Good suggestions. I will talk to Transport Department

  9. Hello Sir

    Is there is any plan to widen the Roads from Lauhati towards Haroa Road ?

    Also is there plan to connect Rajarhat road with Haroa Road at any point e.g Kharibari

    Mahesh Kapoor

  10. sir, it will be very good if newtown gets monorail in future! but we have to think that here is no company in india which products monorail! all company who makes monorail coaches like hitachi, mitsubishi, scomi all is from outer india! this is fact that others state of india and outer india have bad idea about west bengal's development! so if any company can't show interest in your ppp project then? but their is a option for this problem! skybus is a great option for urban transport! it is also cheaper than metro and monorail! konkan railway have also experience of world's 1st skybus project of madgaon,goa! all the coaches were made by an indian company kineco!please think about my proposal for solving the transport problem of rajarhat newtown!

  11. i think you have to think also about Garia-Baruipur route! because completation of baruipur satelite township and bypass extension there need a rapid transport like monorail or T.R.T.S