After the Centre objected to the proposal of extending the Ahmedabad Metro rail deep into the GIFT City campus, the route for phase-II has been shortened by over six kilometres.
As per the revised detailed project report (DPR) that has been sent to the Union Ministry of Urban Development for approval, there will now be only two stations on the Metro line linking the main phase-II route with GIFT City, sources said.
As per the initial plan for phase-II of the Metro project — which was approved by Gujarat government on October 2017 — the route had a total length of 34.59 km, wherein a separate line was to be built from Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) to GIFT City for providing necessary connectivity to the campus housing the country’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). The plan also included building three metro stations inside the GIFT City campus.
“The ministry was against the proposal of taking the metro rail deep inside the GIFT City campus. The earlier proposal involved covering a significant portion of the area within the GIFT City campus. It meant additional costs. So once objections were raised, we had to revise the entire route, and now we will build only one metro station just 300 metres on the periphery of the GIFT City (which is spread over 800 acres) after crossing the Sabarmati river,” said a senior official from MEGA (Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad Company Limited) which is implementing the phase-I and phase-II of the project connecting the cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.
MEGA is a 50:50 special purpose vehicle of Government of India and Government of Gujarat.
As per the revised DPR for phase-II, the route length has been shortened to 28.26 km. It will have two corridors — the first one having a length of 22.84 km will link Motera with Mahatma Mandir and the second one about 5.42 km-long branch from GNLU (Gujarat National Law University) and linking PDPU and GIFT City.
However, despite shortening of the route, the project cost for the second phase has been revised upwards from Rs 6,758 crore in October 2017 to Rs 6,769 crore. “Delays in project cycles increase the cost of the project,” the official said, adding that MEGA has sought a loan of Rs 3400 crore for phase-II from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). “The cost of land, rehabilitation and resettlement for this phase is pegged at Rs 194 crore,” the official added.
Once approved by the Union urban development ministry, the project is expected to be completed in four years.
At present, 90 per cent work on the first six kilometres of the phase-I of the Ahmedabad Metro project has been completed. The first trial run on this section is expected to take place by December 2018. The phase-I, which has a route length of almost 40 km, is being built at a cost of Rs 10,773 crore.