Kolkata: West Bengal Housing & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) is exploring options for starting monorail services for easy and faster communication in areas of Salt lake and New Town that cannot be covered by Metro services.”We have already completed the feasibility study along with the cost evaluation for the project. We are now looking for investors,” HIDCO chairman Debasish Sen said on the sidelines of Kolkata regional dialogue on ‘Preparing for the Future of Urban Mobility’ organised by the Bengal Chamber and The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI). Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to HIDCO sources, the alignment for the monorail that has been created will start from Ultadanga station and will run through Sector I and Sector III in Salt Lake and will reach New Town. The total project cost has been estimated at Rs 4,500 crore.It may be mentioned that the two Metro projects — East West and Garia-Kolkata Airport Metros — work for which are going on in full swing will not be able to cover entire Salt Lake and New Town area. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”The monorail network will plug this gap,” a senior HIDCO official said.HIDCO is holding talks with start-up companies which can carry out real time analysis of CCTV footages to prevent accidents. The aim is to strengthen the ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign initiative that was launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in July 2016. The state government has already done GIS mapping and have marked accident prone areas in New Town.Talking of various initiatives that have been taken in New Town, Sen said house owners have been given the nod to convert their ground floors into cafes by paying Rs 500 to the authorities.”A large number of people working in the IT sector, particularly women feel unsafe when they return home at night,” Sen said adding that this step will increase the sense of safety and security of the citizens.He also touched upon the introduction of three electric buses, 10 charging stations, dedicated cycle track, smart bus stations with outdoor gym equipment and a number of initiatives towards urban mobility in New Town.
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