Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 18 will virtually lay the foundation stone of Phase-2 of the Ahmedabad metro project which will link GIFT City campus and the state capital Gandhinagar. The Prime Minister will also conduct a similar function for the Rs 12,020 crore Phase-1 of the Surat metro project, official sources said on Thursday.
Both the metro projects in Ahmedabad and Surat are being handled by the Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC) which is a 50:50 joint venture between the state and the central government.
According to official sources, construction tenders worth Rs 1,500 crore for Phase-2 of Ahmedabad metro has already been awarded in November and December. Similarly GMRC is in the process of finalising tenders for Phase-1 for approximately the same amount.
Currently, Ahmedabad is the only city in Gujarat to have an operational metro rail network which is 6.5 kilometers in length. Though Modi had inaugurated this section of the 40-kilometer-long Phase-1 of the Ahmedabad metro just before the Lok Sabha elections in March 2019, GMRC has been unable to extend the metro connectivity in Ahmedabad in the last two years.
According to GMRC officials, only 63 per cent of the work on Phase-1 of Ahmedabad metro has been completed so far. The foundation stone for Phase-1 of Ahmedabad metro was laid back in March 2015 by the then chief minister Anandiben Patel. The delay in executing the project has led to cost of the first phase to escalate to Rs 12700 crore from the earlier Rs 10,773 crore.
In February 2019, the Modi government had cleared the Rs 5523 crore Phase-2 of the Ahmedabad metro project that will link Motera in Ahmedabad with Mahatma Mandir, the venue of biannual Vibrant Gujarat event and will also branch out and connect GIFT City. The Indian Express in October 2018 reported how the metro link to GIFT City was shortened by six kilometers by redrawing the Detailed Project Report.
Meanwhile, the Surat metro having a total Phase-1 length of 40.35 kilometers, will have two corridors. The first one will connect Sarthana to Dream city and will have an 6.47 kilometer long underground section. The second corridor from Behsan to Saroli will be a fully elevated one. The Surat metro will also see acquisition of 700 private properties.
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