Implementation of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project, connecting Delhi to the greater National Capital Region (NCR) might take longer than expected due to delay in land acquisition. National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), a joint sector company of the Centre and Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh state governments, will be implementing the RRTS project across the NCR. The project, which comes under the ministry of housing & urban affairs, is facing problems in acquiring land for right of way (ROW). ROW is a legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another. The ministry had approached the ministry of road transport & highways for using the ROW on the two national highways (1&8). The proposal was refused by the latter. Road Secretary Y S Mallik wrote to the housing & urban affairs secretary, saying the land belongs to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and cannot be released for the project. However, the only ROW available with the road ministry is the one on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway. “We have refused land along the NH 1 because upgradation and expansion of the Mukarba Chowk to Panipat is going on, and is not possible to give the ROW,” said an NHAI official. The NHAI had asked the NCRTC to use the railways ROW from Delhi to Panipat, which also covers stations at Gannaur and Samalkha in Haryana. “NH8 is a congested stretch and we cannot give the ROW to them (RRTS),” the official said, adding they (RRTS) want to save their land acquisition cost. They should acquire land themselves. Modelled on the suburban train network in Europe and North America, RRTS is being planned by the central government starting with Delhi-Alwar (Rajasthan) corridor, at an investment of Rs 375.39 billion. The project is planned to be completed in about 6 years after the approval of the project report.
The project would be funded by the central government, state governments and funding agencies, a statement said. The length of the corridor is 180.50 km in which elevated portion is (124.5 km) and underground portion is (56 km) corridor. There would be 19 stations – 9 underground and 10 elevated. Train’s design speed would be 180 km per hour, while operational speed would be 160 kmph and average speed 100 kmph. The proposed trains would have air-conditioned cars with business and economy class. RRTS has three prioritised corridors — Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut (90km), Delhi-Gurugram-Rewari-Alwar (180 km) and Delhi-Sonepat-Panipat (111 km). “In May 2017, the urban ministry had a meeting with the NHAI where the latter gave in-principle approval for the usage of ROW on NH-8, provided we found acceptable technical solutions for both the sides. The NHAI had issues with some portions of the Gurugram on the NH-8, so we worked out an alignment on the old Gurugram road,” Sudhir Kumar Sharma, NCRTC spokesperson said. As far as the approval for usage of land on the NH-1 is concerned it is work in progress, he added.