Signalling the beginning of the metro rail operations in Ahmedabad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took a ride on the newly built Ahmedabad Metro rail on Monday. The first 6.5 kilometres of the 40-kilometre long phase-I of the project has been on the drawing boards since 2005, and the work on the same had begun only in March 2015.
PM Modi, who arrived at the Vastral Gam Metro station, flagged of the train and then rode on it for about 1.1 km, till the next metro station at Nirant Cross Roads. The PM waved to a number of residents who had climbed on rooftops to witness the trial run of the metro that passes through a densely populated zone that falls on the East-West corridor of the metro line. Modi was accompanied by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Governor O P Kohli, Deputy CM Nitin Patel and Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
“This is a special feature of our government where we start working on the next project immediately after completing one. We don’t sleep after completing a project, we instead prepare for the next one… Until 2014, when remote-control sarkaar (government) was in power, the Metro network was spread only over 250 km. Today, in 55 months, the operational network stands at 650 km (in the country),” Modi said at another event.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, I P Gautam, said that 70 per cent work on the Rs 10,700 crore phase-I of the project has been completed, so far. “It will take another one and a half years for phase-I to be completed. The second section of about a similar length, between Vishalla and Paldi on North-South Corridor, is expected to be operational in September 2019,” he said.
Initially, only one train will be running on this 6.5 kilometre length. “We will start the second train on March 15 or 16,” he added. With this launch, Ahmedabad will be one of those cities to have BRTS, Metro rail and local bus transport service AMTS.
PM lays foundation of Metro’s phase-II
PM Modi also laid the foundation for the Rs 6,769-crore phase-II of the project that will connect Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar. “Due to paucity of time, the foundation stone was laid at Vastral. It will be shifted to Motera later,” a metro official said. The phase-II of the route that will connect Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar has a length of 28.26 km. This phase will have two corridors. The first one will link Motera with Mahatma Mandir (22.84 km ), the annual venue of Vibrant Gujarat summits. The second one, about 5.42-km-long, will branch out from Gujarat National Law University and provide a very important link to Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University and GIFT City.
The train on which the PM travelled Monday has been imported from South Korea.