The construction work of the ambitious Rs 10,600 crore Ahmedabad Metro Rail project is yet to take off, but over Rs 565 crore has already been spent on the project that proposes to link different areas of the city with each other. In a response to a question posed by a Congress MLA from Khedbrahma Ashwin Kotwal, Urban Development Minister of the Gujarat government, in a written reply, informed the Gujarat Assembly on the opening day of the budget session on Tuesday that Rs 565.60 crore has already been spent on the project in the last two years, till May 31 this year.
In the past, money was spent on a lot of surveys conducted for the project. A number of consultants were also engaged for different works related to the Metro project.
The Gujarat government had appointed a new management of Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) – a special-purpose vehicle implementing the project – last year after the previous chairman Sanjay Gupta quit. The routes of the Metro Rail was also changed subsequently and a new Detailed Project Report (DPR) was prepared and sent to the Union Government for necessary approvals.
“The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2018 and the entire project is slated to be completed by 2022,” the written reply from the state government stated. In the state budget presented on Tuesday, an additional provision of Rs 250 crore has been made for Phase-I of the project that is expected to begin this year.
According to MEGA officials, work on the Metro project is expected to begin in September or October this year. The reworked route of the Metro project has a North-South corridor (APMC to Motera Stadium) and an East-West corridor (Thaltej Gam to Vastral Gam).
MEGA has also sought funds to the tune of over Rs 5,900 crore from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), a Japanese body providing financial assistance to several metro projects in India. The remaining 45 per cent of the money needed for the Phase-I of the project is expected to come in form of equity funding that will be equally shared between the Union government and the Gujarat government.