HIDCO or the West Bengal Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation is exploring new options for starting monorail services in Salt Lake and New Town, for the ease of commute of the rising population in this part of the city. The service will focus on those areas which are not being covered by the ongoing Metro service. The cost evaluation of the project has been completed and HIDCO is now looking for investors. The announcement was made in a seminar titled ‘Preparing for the Future of Urban Mobility’ organized by the Bengal Chamber and The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI).
The alignment of the monorail services will start from Ultadanga and will run through Sector 1 and Sector III in Salt Lake and will reach New Town. The two metro networks currently under development- the East West corridor and the Garia- Kolkata Airport Metro will not be able to cover the entire Salt Lake and New Town region. The estimated cost of the entire project is 4500 crores.
It has been estimated that the monorail service will bridge this gap by connecting the pockets that have been as of now left out. Moreover, special emphasis is being laid on strengthening the safety and security of the system with CCTV cameras being installed in key locations. This is aimed at providing further leverage to Safe Drive Save Life campaign initiative and that was launched in July 2016. The GIS mapping of the area has already been completed accident prone areas in New Town have already been marked.
Also, many owners of properties here have given the nod to convert the ground floor to cafes by paying just Rs 500. This has been done to increase the sense of security in the region. Women working in the IT industry, who mostly return home late at night, feel unsafe in the neighborhood and this can be largely mitigated. There are also measures being taken to introduce three electric buses. Ten charging stations and dedicated cycle track, smart bus stations in the region. Outdoor gym equipments will also be included which is sure to increase the urban lifestyle of the people living here.
New Town and Salt Lake have already reached new heights in urban development and these measures will only improve their lifestyle of the people living here even further. Several big-ticket residential projects are being built in Salt Lake including Star Prime and Merlin 5th Avenue to name a few.