Patna may have India's first monorail service soon: Lalu

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Patna, May 22(UNI) However strange it may sound, Patna may soon be the first Indian city to have the unique monorail service to ease its increasing traffic congestion.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, who arrived here last night after a week-long foreign trip to Singapore and Malaysia to explore the business possibilities of Indian Railways, felt that introduction of a world-class monorail service in line with those of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, could only ease the growing traffic congestion problem in Patna to a great extent.

Sharing his 'pleasant experience' of travelling through the popular monorail services in both the cities, with the media here last night, the Railway minister said that he was serious about introduciung similar services here and sought necessary cooperation from the state government.

''I have already asked ENRON to prepare a feasibility report and conduct necessary survey to bring similar(monorail)service to connect Patna with Bakhtiarpur, about 20 km away, through several routes,'' Mr Prasad said.

Asked about the possible routes, the Railway Minister said he wanted the service to pass through the city's main interjunctions and crowded areas like Patna Junction, Ashok Rajpath, Bailey Road and Gandhi Maidan before travelling through Digha, Danapur and Phulwarisharif for reaching Bakhtiarpur within about 30 minutes.

He, however, made it clear that his dream was still in 'preliminary stages', but said that his ministry was expected to start work immediately after receiving a feasibility report as well as a green signal from ENRON.

Meanwhile, he said, work for transforming Patna Railway junction into a world-class station along with 22 others across the country was going on 'full swing' and was expected to be completed by next year as scheduled.

The Railways have estimated the overall cost of raising Patna junction to the world standard to the tune of Rs 100 crores under joint venture programmes.

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