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More rapid rail links for UP, Haryana

More rapid rail links for UP, Haryana Two Lines To Link Delhi With Baraut & Hisar; Feasibility Studies To Start Soon TIMES NEWS NETWORK New Delhi: The Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments managed to convince the Centre to fast-track the laying of two more rapid rail links from the national capital, prompting urban development minister Kamal Nath to announce on Thursday that the feasibility study of the Delhi-Baraut corridor via Shahdara and the Delhi-Hisar link via Rohtak would be taken up soon.  These lines are in addition to the proposal of three similar corridors from Delhi to Meerut, Alwar and Panipat. The two states pleaded for greater and faster connectivity to more NCR towns, claiming that such a network would help stabilize and even reduce strain on Delhi’s stretched infrastructure. Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda reportedly told the representatives of Delhi, UP and Rajasthan that as the rapid rail link would help people commute to Delhi on a daily basis, there will be no additional burden on the capital’s infrastructure. He also batted for Hisar as a countermagnet town, where the rapid link would help NCR planning.  “We had a meeting for Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS). We talked about three corridors –– Delhi-Alwar, Delhi-Meerut and Delhi-Panipat. Because of development, the population of Delhi is increasing and there was consensus that means of transport have to be developed from the small towns to Delhi,” said Nath. The already identified three corridors would cost over Rs 72,000 crore, and can carry five lakh commuters every day. “Reports are being prepared and we believe to take these forward in two years,” Nath added.  While the Centre is yet to take a decision on how to finance the projects, UP minister of state for protocol Abhishek Mishra told TOI, “We want the RRTS projects for development of our parts of the NCR. Funding won’t be a problem. The Baraut node would accelerate development.”  The Centre and the states are pushing for the projects, considering the huge savings it would cause in terms of reduction of vehicles on road, major cut in fuel consumption and dip in carbon footprints in the NCR by 2021. The details were shared in the meeting.  They were also informed that substantial progress has been made to get a final nod from the Planning Commission to go ahead with the projects. The panel in March had said the need to resolve issues on the use of highway medians for construction of RRTS corridors. Now, no medians would be used for laying elevated corridors and NHAI will give permission for crossing over the highway stretches.  The Haryana government claimed that Nath had said the Delhi-Faridabad-Palwal corridor would be taken up in the second phase.