Elevated busway planned in Rajkot

Rajkot will soon boast of a unique landmark in public transport — the country’s first elevated busway system. Standing on slender pillars, the unique bus service will allow Rajkot residents virtually fly past some of the most congested stretches in the city. Ahmedabad and Chennai are the only cities where a similar project has been proposed. In Ahmedabad, an elevated portion for the bus rapid transit system (BRTS) around Kalupur railway station has been proposed. The new busway in Rajkot will complement the BRTS, which will be completed by 2014. “The elevated busway will connect with the outer ring road, linking up with the BRTS,” said Sumitra Iyengar, director of Geodesic Techniques and president of the International Monorail Association. The company is looking at a stretch of 30-50 km. Two alignments have been proposed — one from the airport to the industrial belt in the south, including the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation estate. The other is through the upcoming new areas along Raiya Road in the west to the dense old city areas. Geodesic signed a Rs 1,350-crore MoU with the state government during the recently concluded Vibrant Gujarat summit for the project. “We are preparing a detailed project report, which should be ready in six to eight months. In ideal conditions we will start implementing the project in 18 to 24 months,” Iyengar added. Apart from helping reduce traffic congestion, only environment-friendly hybrid-electric buses using alternate energy sources, will ply on the elevated stretches. The bus stops too will be elevated. Geodesic plans to set up base in Ahmedabad and is exploring public private partnership options in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and Dholera special investment region (SIR) projects. “We had proposed an elevated bus system for Ahmedabad, but since the metro rail is coming up, the state government may look at it later,” Iyengar added.

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