The project that was put on back foot due to the priority given to Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) has now gained momentum. The go-getting Ahemdabad Metro Project will be on the fast track as the first phase is believed to start from the next year. However, it will take 2-3 years for the line to get operational.

It all started when Ahmedabad had proposed to build five metro corridors spread over 219 km. The Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB) had prepared a DPR (Detailed Project Report) to identify the solutions for the Urban Transport problems in the city. The project report was initiated by GIDB through Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) & DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.) in 2003. It was submitted in June, 2005 with cost estimates worked out to be Rs 4,925 crore (Rs 49.25 billion). But, it was decided not to go ahead with Metro Rail project to give priority to the BRTS and Regional Rail System Projects.

Ahemdabad was developing at a fast pace, but it lacked a credible public transport system in the beginning of 2001, when local city bus service was in awful straits. Following this, the BRTS project was implemented that got thumbs up from the public. Further, considering the developments in and around the city, it was decided to go ahead with the Metro Rail Project in 2008.

The state government plans to set up a Rs. 200 crore company for the execution of the project. The company is likely to be named the MetroLink Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA). “A company has been set up for undertaking the metro project, MetroLink Express Ahmedabad Gandhinagar and a newly appointed Managing Director would join later this month. Work on the first phase of the project would start in the middle of 2011,” said GIDB Chief Executive Officer, A K Sharma.

The 1100 crore first phase of the metro rail project will cover a distance of 32.65 km in the north-south direction between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad and 10.90 km east-west corridor between Kalupur and Thaltej. Also, in Phase I, the state government has planned to connect the airport and the Gift city with the metro rail network. The details of the second phase are not worked out yet, but it is believed to connect Ahmedabad with Dholera, the site of a Special Investment Region. This will add another 125 km to the north-south line. Ahmedabad has already got the BRTS, and with the Metro Rail on the anvil, the mass transport system will surely get a further boost.

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=MEGA%20ON%20FAST%20TRACKS:%20METROLINK%20EXPRESS%20GANDHINAGAR%20AND%20AHMEDABAD_175

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