Metro rail project for Ahmedabad put on fast-track

Ahmedabad:  In a push to mass rapid transit system in Ahemedabad, Gujarat government has decided to put the estimated Rs 12,000 crore metro rail project on the fast-track.

"We have conducted site surveys with the stakeholders twice for the metro. The project has been put on fast-track and now we are weighing options for its launch," Additional Chief Secretary, Ports and Transport Development B K Sinha told PTI.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) recently submitted its revalidated detailed project report (DPR) on the alignment of metro network to the Gujarat government.
DMRC has recommended mostly an elevated route for the first phase of metro, since there are land issues, barring the stretch from Nehru bridge to Ahmedabad junction which will be
underground, sources said.

Also, infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has evinced interest in the multi-crore project. "L&T has submitted a proposal to the Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB) expressing interest for undertaking the metro project," a GIDB official said.

The company signed an agreement with the Gujarat government to invest Rs 5,000 crore in mono rail project for old Ahmedabad city area, on PPP model, at the recently concluded Vibrant Gujarat Summit-2011.

However, on being contacted, spokesperson for L&T refused to divulge any information.
For the speedy execution of the metro project, the Gujarat government has already formed a special purpose vehicle -- Metrolink Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) -- with authorised capital of Rs 200 crore and initial paid-up capital of Rs 10 crore.

The metro rail -- targeted at an estimated 17 lakh commuters daily - would connect APMC Vasna to Akshardham via Ashram Road, Koba Circle (32.65 km) with 31 stations, and
Thaltej to Ahmedabad junction via Sabarmati riverfront and Delhi Darwaja (10.90 km) with 11 stations, in the first phase.

In this phase, the state government has also planned to connect the airport and Gift City to the metro rail network.

In the second phase, the government plans to lay the metro line from Sarkhej to Indroda Circle in Gandhinagar and another line from Vasna to Sarkhej.

Preparation of DPR for metro rail was initiated by the GIDB in 2003 through DMRC and RITES. The DPR was first submitted by DMRC in June 2005, official sources said.

However, the metro project was then put on back burner as the state decided to implement Bus Rapid Transit System first.

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