Ahmedabad likely to get a new-look, but slower metro

First phase of the project costing Rs 10, 675 crore will be commissioned in 2018 and aims to carry 4.6 lakh passengers daily.

Ahmedabad | Published: February 28, 2014 9:24:10 pm

Gujarat government has fallen back on the experience of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) while preparing a new Detailed Project Report (DPR) which suggests a new-look metro for the Ahmedabad city that will be longer and slower, than the earlier proposed versions.

“DMRC has executed the new DPR,” said Vijay Nehra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MEGA (Metro-Link Express For Gandhinagar & Ahmedabad), a special purpose vehicle formed for the implementation of the metro project in two cities of Gujarat.

DMRC had first prepared and submitted a detailed DPR for the Ahmedabad metro project in 2004, when Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB) had engaged the corporation for creating a regional rail system that was expected to be commissioned by 2010.

“We decided on DMRC because it has successfully implemented the Delhi metro and has also hand-held similar metro projects in other cities,” Nehra added.

Lacunas in the earlier DPRs and absence of a general consultant for the project are being seen as major reasons behind creation of a new DPR.

This new DPR – prepared by the DMRC – has been cleared by the MEGA board and submitted to the Gujarat Government for approval. The first phase of the project costing Rs 10, 675 crore will be commissioned in 2018 and aims to carry 4.6 lakh passengers daily.

Unlike the earlier DPR that was prepared in 2012 when ex-IAS officer Sanjay Gupta was at the helm of MEGA, the new DPR proposes that the metro will move on a rail corridor with a standard gauge (1435 mm), instead of a broad gauge (1676 mm).

The new DPR also proposes the tried and tested 750V DC third rail electric traction, instead of the 1500V DC traction proposed in the earlier DPR. “This change was effected, because there is no metro in India that currently runs on 1500V DC traction,” Nehra said, adding that tried-and-tested versions of metros in India have been kept in mind while suggesting a new metro for the cities in Gujarat.

Compared to the earlier provision of two cars per train (during non-peak hours), the new DPR proposes a longer metro train with three cars, each having a capacity to carry more than 450 passengers. This would mean that one metro train will carry almost 1400 passengers at a time, compared to the earlier 800.

As per the new DPR, size of the Ahmedabad metro coaches will be 2.90 meter, smaller than the 3.2-3.6 meter wide coaches proposed in the earlier DPR prepared in 2012.

The “driverless” Ahmedabad metro will have a “scheduled speed” of 30 kmph, compared to the 45 kmph proposed earlier. The number of maintenance depots have also been reduced to two (New Cotton Mill for East-west corridor) and Vasna (North-South Corridor) as compared to the earlier four depots.

The East-West Corridor (Thaltej Gam to Vastral Gam) that will have a total length of 20.5 kms, will have 6.3 kms of underground route and will cost Rs 6681 crore while the North-South route (APMC-Motera Stadium) that will comprise 15.5 kilometers of elevated corridor, will cost almost Rs 4000 crore.

“This project will be a 50:50 joint venture between MEGA and the Government of India, so 20 percent of the cost will be borne by GOI, while 25 percent will come from Government of Gujarat (including cost of land) while 55 percent will be raised as debt from multilateral or bilateral finances,” Nehra added.

The project will need about 100 hectares of land of which 5.3 hectares will be private land, while the rest will be government land. This land will be meant for development of viaducts, depots, stations, etc.

“We will be preparing a brand new DPR for the phase-II of the project that will link Gandhinagar to Ahmedabad,” Nehra said adding that the Ahmedabad metro by carry 6.63 persons by 2012 and 12.45 lakh people by 2043.

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