The ambitious Ahmedabad metro project will soon get on the fast track as surveys and the detailed project reports on the rail link between the city and Gandhinagar, in the first phase are in its final stages.
"Studies are on whether an underground metro line is possible in old areas of the city connecting Kalupur railway station to Income tax Circle," urban development secretary BK Sinha told reporters.
The first phase plan of the metro rail project is to facilitate movement between the city and Gandhinagar, Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB) officials said.
"Preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Metro Rail system for Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar was initiated by GIDB in 2003 through Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES). The DPR was submitted by DMRC in June 2005," officials said.
However, the project was put on back foot as the state decided to implement the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS)first.
In 2008, considering developments in and around Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar, it was decided to go ahead with the metro rail project, officials said.
The rapidly progressing city of Ahmedabad had lacked a credible public transport system in the beginning of 2001, when local city bus service 'Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service'(AMTS), was in dire straits. Following this, the Gujarat government had begun the BRTS project.
Now, the metro, which would be designed to carry 40,000 passengers per hour —- an estimated 17 lakh commuters are expected to use the service daily -- would connect Vasna to Akshardham via Ashram Road, Koba Circle (32.65 km) with 31 stations, and Ahmedabad junction to Thaltej via Delhi Darwaja (10.90 km) with 11 stations, in the first phase.
Also, in Phase I, the state government has planned to connect airport and Gift city with the metro rail network.
While in the second phase the government plans to lay the metro line from Sarkhej to Indroda Circle in Gandhinagar and other line from Vasna to Sarkhej.
The total project cost is going to be more than Rs 10,000 crore, officials said.
Also, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) named Metrolink Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) has been formed by Government of Gujarat with an authorised capital of Rs 200 crore and initial paid-up capital of Rs 10 crore for this rail link project.
"The mandate given to DMRC for the revalidation of the alignment and the DPR of the Metro Project for Phase 1 and its extension corridors are likely to be submitted (by DMRC) shortly," officials said.
After the studies, the exact cost and time frame will be available for the completion of Phase I and II.
The city has already got the BRTS, and with the metro rail on the anvil, the mass transport system here will be further strengthened.