Monday, December 27, 2004

Monorail good, but check costs, caution experts

Monorail good, but check costs, caution experts
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: With the State Government considering the monorail project to ease traffic congestion in Bangalore, the debate has started over its financial feasibility.

Monorail is considered a good alternative to BMTC to complement proposed Metro Rail, but experts advise the Government to tread carefully over its financial outcome.

“Monorail is good. It can work as a good feeder system for the Metro Rail, but the Government has to be careful about its financial implications,” said former executive director, Bangalore Mass Rapid Transit Limited (BMRTL) B.S.C. Rao.

Rao, an expert on mass rapid transportation said the monorail project proposed by the Metrail Corporation is a new technology, which is yet to be fully tested.

In its proposal to the Government, Metrail Corporation offered to build an efficient monorail system in the city within a very short span of time without causing much disturbance to traffic. For the Rs. 4,045-crore project, they have asked the Government to invest little over Rs. 1,00 crore.

But, experts say majority of mass transportation systems in the world run under loss and the Government should do a detailed study before taking a decision.

“Private firms may invest money now, if the project runs into losses when functional, they may pass the burden either on people by increasing fares or may ask the Government take over,” he added.

Apart from financial aspect, the other important feature of the monorail project is that it proposes to cover areas which will not be covered by Metro Rail.

However, sources in the BMRTL, a nodal agency to implement the Metro Rail project said all areas, which monorail plans to cover come under second phase of their project.

Some experts even suggest the Government consider the monorail as a point to point service and not as a carriage operator.


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