Metro rail project for Ahmedabad put on fast-track

Ahmedabad, Jan 17 (PTI) In a push to mass rapid transitsystem here, Gujarat government has decided to put theestimated Rs 12,000 crore metro rail project on thefast-track.

"We have conducted site surveys with the stakeholderstwice for the metro. The project has been put on fast-trackand now we are weighing options for its launch," AdditionalChief Secretary, Ports and Transport Development B K Sinhatold PTI.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) recently submittedits revalidated detailed project report (DPR) on the alignmentof metro network to the Gujarat government.

DMRC has recommended mostly an elevated route for thefirst phase of metro, since there are land issues, barring thestretch from Nehru bridge to Ahmedabad junction which will beunderground, sources said.

Also, infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) hasevinced interest in the multi-crore project. "L&T hassubmitted a proposal to the Gujarat Infrastructure DevelopmentBoard (GIDB) expressing interest for undertaking the metroproject," a GIDB official said.

The company signed an agreement with the Gujaratgovernment to invest Rs 5,000 crore in mono rail project forold Ahmedabad city area, on PPP model, at the recentlyconcluded Vibrant Gujarat Summit-2011.

However, on being contacted, spokesperson for L&Trefused to divulge any information. .

For the speedy execution of the metro project, the Gujarat government has already formed a special purposevehicle -- Metrolink Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad(MEGA) -- with authorised capital of Rs 200 crore and initialpaid-up capital of Rs 10 crore.

The metro rail -- meant for an estimated 17 lakhcommuters daily �- would connect APMC Vasna to Akshardhamvia Ashram Road, Koba Circle (32.65 km) with 31 stations, andThaltej to Ahmedabad junction via Sabarmati riverfront andDelhi Darwaja (10.90 km) with 11 stations, in the first phase.

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

In the second phase the government plans to lay themetro line from Sarkhej to Indroda Circle in Gandhinagar andanother line from Vasna to Sarkhej.

Preparation of DPR for metro rail was initiated by theGIDB in 2003 through DMRC and RITES. The DPR was firstsubmitted by DMRC in June 2005, official sources said.

However, the metro project was then put on back burneras the state decided to implement Bus Rapid Transit Systemfirst.

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