An orbital rail project encircling Delhi to provide commuters connectivity to the neighbouring states is being planned by the Central Urban Development Ministry. The project envisages a rail rapid transit system along dedicated tracks, equipped with a modern communication system to enable safer, high-speed and high-frequency services between Delhi to neighbouring towns like Panipat, Baghpat, Meerut, Hapur, Khurja, Palwal, Rewari and Rohtak. The plan proposes to build nine new lines, including Panipat-Meerut, Sonepat-Gohana, Sonepat- Jhajjar, Jhajjar-Gurgaon-Faridabad and Meerut-Baghpat-Sonepat. The entire project is estimated to cost over Rs 14,000 crore. In the first phase, Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor will be taken up. Detailed project report for the same is being carried out.
A special purpose vehicle will be formed and will include stakeholders from Central ministries like Urban Development & Railways, and the State governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana. The project will be funded through loans from global financing institutions like the World Bank & JICA, and contribution from all stakeholders. According to an official, “We have asked the finance ministry for equity infusion which may come through in this budget. The equity infusion could be anywhere between Rs 20 crore to Rs 50 crore.”