The budget for the Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) plan for the first phase of the Rs 10,700 crore Ahmedabad metro is expected to increase by 40 per cent, as the officials incharge of the project estimate that the number of project-affected-families (PAFs) will rise from the earlier projection of 1047 to 1500 PAFs. The Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study prepared before the project began estimated that about 1047 families will be “affected” by the project, which involves acquisition of 92.1 hectares of land. Out of the 92.1 hectares of land, 86.76 hectares is owned by the government, while the remaining 5.34 hectares is private. The SIA shows that majority of the project affected families or PAFs (about 783) reside on the East-West corridor of the proposed metro route, stretching from Thaltej to Vastral Gam, while 264 PAFs live on the North South Corridor (APMC-Motera). However, these figures are expected to rise.
This increase in the number of PAFs is largely due to the necessity for more land required to build metro stations. “When the social impact assessment study was done, no designs were finalised. Now that the designs have been finalised, we will need more land for constructing the metro stations, which are being built keeping the future traffic in mind,” said a senior official of Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad Company Ltd (MEGA) on conditions of anonymity. There are about 32 metro stations which are being planned to be build on both the corridors that will together have a length of 39.2 kilometers. This also includes four underground stations on the East-West corridor. According to the revised DPR for Ahmedabad metro, these stations together require more than 54,500 square meters of land, out of which 20,700 square meters is private and the rest belongs to the government. The elevated metro stations are located at a height of 5.5 meters above the road and shall be accessible from both sides of the road.
Before Diwali, MEGA completed the biggest resettlement of Project-Affected-Families (PAFs) at a single location, wherein 104 families were displaced by the first phase of the project at Apparel Park and were given alternate residences. The company will be spending over Rs 150 crore on the resettlement and rehabilitation process. “This amount will increase by about 40 percent as the number of project affected families are expected to rise to about 1500,” the official from MEGA added. It is estimated that 4.96 lakh passengers will use the metro daily and the services are expected to begin by 2018-end. This daily ridership is expected to go up to 6.69 lakh by 2021.