Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 17-km priority section of the Delhi-Meerut RRTS Corridor last Friday, ushering in a new era of travel in the region.
During the inauguration ceremony held at Sahibabad station of the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS Corridor, PM Modi flagged off the ‘Namo Bharat’ train, marking the official launch of India’s Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS). This cutting-edge train, connecting Sahibabad and Duhai Depot stations, boasts speeds of up to 180 km per hour.
The RRTS, distinct from traditional metro systems, is a dedicated high-speed commuter service designed for passengers traveling longer distances at higher speeds with fewer stops. The Delhi-Meerut RRTS Corridor, part of the larger plan, aims to significantly reduce travel time between Delhi and Meerut to less than an hour once fully completed.
Key dignitaries at the event included Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who joined PM Modi in celebrating this milestone.
The RRTS features several innovative aspects, including a design speed of 180 kmph, high-speed trains for intercity commuting every 15 minutes, and contactless entry/exit using Rupay NCMC card/QR-based ticketing. Additionally, the system incorporates a state-of-the-art signalling system based on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology, enabling Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and Platform Screen Door (PSD) integration.
Once operational, the RRTS is expected to bring a myriad of benefits, including stimulating economic activity, enhancing access to employment, education, and healthcare opportunities, and contributing to the reduction of air pollution in the region.
The Delhi-Meerut RRTS Corridor is part of a larger initiative, with eight RRTS corridors identified for development in the National Capital Region (NCR). Among these, three corridors, including Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut, Delhi-Alwar, and Delhi-Panipat, have been prioritized for implementation in Phase-I.
However, the renaming of the RRTS to “Namo Bharat” stirred controversy, with the opposition party criticizing it as an example of the Prime Minister’s self-obsession, following the recent renaming of the cricket stadium in Ahmedabad to Narendra Modi Stadium.
Scheduled to commence service on October 21, India’s first semi-high-speed regional rail service will operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., providing efficient transportation along the RRTS route. The construction of the RRTS Corridor is under the supervision of the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), a joint venture involving the Centre and the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. The entire 82.15 km Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS is slated to be operational by June 2025.