The phase 2 of the project will connect Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar and GIFT City
Even as the Ahmedabad metro rail is expected to start running by next month, it is learnt that plans to extend the metro up to the airport, in the second phase of the project, have been dropped.
The second phase of the metro project, which will connect Ahmedabad with Gandhinagar and GIFT City, was approved by the state government in October 2017. The central government's approval is also expected in the near future.
As per the original plan, the metro rail would be extended from Motera to Mahatma Mandir. Two extensions, one connecting the Ahmedabad airport and the second to the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), were planned. While the connection from Raysan to GIFT City is very much on the cards, Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC) officials confirmed that there will be no extension to the airport.
"We have decided that the metro rail will not go up to Ahmedabad Airport in the second phase," said GMRC managing director IP Gautam.
Gautam said the change is because it has not been decided whether to connect the international airport or the domestic airport with the metro. The senior official added that land acquisition issue, owing to the presence of Defence area in the vicinity, is another reason for dropping the plans to extend the metro project to the airport.
"The second phase will continue otherwise," Gautam said.
In all cities where metro rail is operational, the airport is invariably a part of the project. Ahmedabad would be one of the rare cities where this would not be the case, at least not in the near future.
The cost of the second phase of the Ahmedabad metro project is estimated at Rs 6,758 crore. As per the original Detailed Project Report (DPR), the 34.6 km stretch is proposed to have 24 stations. Each of the stations would be elevated. However, the plan to leave the airport out of the project means a fresh DPR would be required to be submitted.
The extension or separate line from Gujarat National Law University will link Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) and GIFT City, which is home to the country's first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).