Jammu and Srinagar to get metro rail

Provided all goes as planned, just after four years , say by 2023, both the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar are all set to get operational metro rail. It will be light rail system metro , again the first of its kind in the country . It may not be exactly like in Delhi and NCR areas but the structure and the design of the system is to be conducive to the state and is expected to address urban mobility issues and once completed, the metro was going to contribute towards not only addressing passengers’ mobility within the city quite easily but would add to the grace of the landscape of Jammu and Kashmir , as it was going to be of its own class – light rail system. It had the peculiarity of being with low footprint (pollution less), with less noise, great comfort, with artistic and creative appeal and a blend with the surrounding picturesque topography. That the work on it was going to start shortly at a cost of Rs.8500 crore was shared by no less than the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik, recently.
Not only was the metro system going to ease the pressure of traffic in both the cities to a larger extent but would make the travel of the people within the cities ( select stations) more comfortable , economical and less time consuming. In fact, the traffic turnout having assumed unmanageable proportions especially during morning and evening peak hours in both the cities, opting for the metro was one of the first choices which , however, has been found much plausible and hence workable. Jammu city, in its first phase shall have the metro services from Bantalab to Greater Kailash to Udheywala and to Exhibition ground covering 23 kilometres with 23 ‘stations’. In second phase, it will cover the areas of from Greater Kailash to Bari Brahmana railway station to Exhibition Grounds to Satwari Chowk to Jammu Airport, covering a distance of 20 Kms covering 17 stations.
Srinagar, similarly would have two phases , one each covering HMT, Indra Nagar, Bemina to Hazauri Bagh – 25 Kms and 24 stations and the other would touch areas like Indra Nagar to Pampore Bus stand and Hazauri Bagh to Srinagar Airport – 17 Kms and 24 stations. Two Mass Rapid Transit Corporations (MRTCs) for both the cities, in this connection, were incorporated in February this year. Decisions to the effect of innovative steps towards operationalizing City Bus services within the city jurisdiction too have been taken , again to address traffic congestions and to rid the roads of the messy situations at peak hours, being application based, air conditioned, smart -e buses with automatic fare collection system. It would result into resolving issues of urban mobility in a holistic manner by providing safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable and sustainable access for the ever growing number of city residents . For overseeing such arrangements and for coordinating the prestigious projects, both the cities are going to have metropolitan regional development authorities .
It is worth noting that the services of the infrastructure development enterprise, Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), a Government of India Enterprise, have been since decided to be hired by the State Government. They are professionals in traffic analysis and are entrusted with the task of preparing detailed project reports within a fortnight. It is heartening to note that Dr. E. Sreedharan who is known by his name and professional dexterity, the Metro-man, has been appointed as the Principal Advisor to the MRTCs. Under his overall supervision, the project , first of its kind in the country, is expected to be completed not only within the timeframe but the quality and the standard of the project work too are expected to be of a class order.