Chandigarh, Oct 9 (UNI) Punjab today moved into the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) era with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the state government and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for Metro Rail Services in Ludhiana, state's most populated city.
A similar rail system would be set up at Amritsar and Mohali, steps for which are being taken on priority basis.
The historic MoU was signed by S D Sharma, Chief Engineer (Consultancy) DMRC and S S Sandhu, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister and Managing Director, Punjab Infrastructure Development Board.
Punjab would thus become the first state in the region outside the national capital to introduce this Mass Rapid Transit System.
Besides, DMRC has taken up similar projects in Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Cochin, Chennai and Hyderabad.
This ambitious project was part of the election commitments of the SAD-BJP alliance and Akali MP and Working President Sukhbir Singh Badal had been personally pursuing its progress with both the Centre and the DMRC.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in whose presence the MoU was signed, described the project as a landmark and said it would completely revolutionise the development scenario in the state. Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal said the move marked Punjab's entry into the age of post-modern technology.
The Detailed Project Report (DPR) to be prepared by the DMRC is likely to be submitted within six months. A Budget of Rs 212 crore has been set aside for the DPR.
After receiving the DPR, the project will be bid out for construction estimated at Rs 3000 crore. The project is proposed to be developed through Public Private Pranership (PPP) on Build Operate Own (BOO) mode.
The first phase of the Metro rail network has been proposed to be about 25 Km in length.