The Ahmedabad Metro project is one step closer to reality as the state government on Thursday announced the new routes for the Rs10,000-crore first phase of the project. Instead of the circular route that was planned earlier, the government has now decided to go ahead with a more linear route for the project.
First phase of the Ahmedabad Metro project will span approximately 34 km and comprise two corridors. The north-south corridor will connect Motera and APMC, and the east-west corridor will connect Thaltej and Vastral village. Both corridors will intersect at Ashram Road.
State government spokesperson Nitin Patel said that of the 34 km route, the 7-km stretch from Shahpur to Kalupur railway station will be underground and remaining 27 km will be elevated.
The cost of every km of the elevated section of the Metro is estimated at Rs200 crore and that of the underground section at Rs500 crore Back-of-the-envelope calculations show that the first phase of the project will cost nearly Rs10,000 crore.
A senior official of Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA), which is executing the Metro, said they have asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to update the detailed project report of the Ahmedabad Metro and it is expected to be ready by the end of this month. “Geo-technical investigations, topographical surveys, multi-modal integration analysis, household survey, traffic analysis, financial and economic viability and other studies related to the Metro project have been completed,” Vijay Nehra, chief executive of MEGA, said.
He said civil work on the Metro will commence by the end of 2014 and the first phase of the project will be completed by 2018.
“The north-south corridor of the Metro will be approximately 16 km long, and comprise 13 stations, starting with Motera and including Sabarmati, AEC, Ranip, Vadaj, Usmanpura, Ashram Road, Nava Gandhigram, Madalpur, Paldi, Anjali, Vasna and APMC,” said a senior official.
The east-west corridor will be roughly 18 km long and comprise 16 stations, including Thaltej, Drive-In Cinema, Gurukul Road, Commerce Six roads, Stadium, Ashram road, Shahpur, Relief Road, Kalupur railway station, New Cotton Mills, Amraiwadi, Rabari Colony, Vastral, Nirant crossroad, and Vastral village.
“The routes have been planned in such a manner that the Metro integrates with the existing BRTS network,” said an official.
According to the new route, the Metro will not go to Ahmedabad airport in the first phase. Likewise, areas such as Parimal Garden and Panjrapol in west Ahmedabad, and Danilimda, Asarwa, Isanpur and Ghodasar in east Ahmedabad, which were originally planned to be covered by Metro, also do not find a place in the new route. The Metro project was originally planned to connect Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. However, the government has decided to against extending the project to Gandhinagar in view of inadequate traffic availability.
An official said that the Metro will be extended to cover Ahmedabad airport as well as Gandhinagar in the second phase of the project, and other areas of Ahmedabad in the third phase. The state government is likely to opt for debt-equity model for financing the project, and ask the Centre to part-fund the project.