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Nov 06, 2019
Centre suggests to run metro with rubber tyres in small cities to cut cost

Metro trains in smaller cities could run on rubber tyres. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is bringing a policy to run a metro with rubber tyres, instead of steel wheels, to reduce costs. The move follows the Ministry's metrolite initiative that entails trains with lesser number of coaches.

A committee has been formed to draft a set of standards and specification for metro on rubber tyre-wheels. Such a metro is running successfully in many countries including Paris and Hong Kong. This metro also runs on railway tracks, but wheels are used in tyres. It was first used in Paris.

Union Housing and Urban Affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday said, "When the committee comes out with its report there will be a process of approval and then it will be presented in public domain for states to adopt. We have not frozen on the standards and specifications for it yet".

This is much cheaper than both the Metro Rail and Metrolite. While the per kilometer cost of metro rail is Rs. 300 crore, metrolite is Rs. 100 crore and metro on tyres will cost Rs. 60 crore.

The minister said that the metrolite has been approved by the ministry and the Board of the Directors of Delhi Metro has also given its not for its use in a 20 km stretch from Dwarka sector 25 to Kirti Nagar. Now, the ministry will await the proposal to come from the Delhi government to use the metrolite. The maximum operational speed of the Metrolite is 60 km per hour... In any case, even with failure of on-board signalling, the speed is restricted to 25 km per hour. The train is to accommodate around 300 passengers.

A similar process, he said will be followed in case of metro on tyres.

In August this year, the Maharashtra cabinet cleared the mass transport system 'Metro Neo' for better connectivity across Nashik. However, Nashik will have to wait for the report of the committee and the final approval from the union ministry before it begins building, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra said.

As per the Nashik model, the metro on tyres will like all lines have an elevated corridor and its coaches will operate on electricity and battery and ply on elevated viaducts with state-of-the-art terminals. "Nashik are the prime movers in this case and its from there that we got the idea. However, they have to wait for the standards and specifications", said Mishra.

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