Metro DPR shown the green light [DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)]
(DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Gandhinagar: The much-delayed Ahmedabad Metro project seems to have been put on the fast track now. A few weeks after announcing fresh routes for the Ahmedabad Metro, the board of the Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) has approved of the fresh detailed project report (DPR) of the Rs10,000-crore project, which would pave the way for the beginning of actual physical work on it.
The MEGA board met on Monday and approved of the updated DPR, prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
"The board has approved of the updated DPR, which will now be forwarded to the state government for its approval and for onward submission to the central government," Vijay Nehra, chief executive officer of MEGA, told dna.
According to officials, DMRC was asked to update the DPR about four months ago in view of the changed plans and revised Metro routes. The DPR was submitted to MEGA just last week and almost immediately approved by its board.
Just last week, MEGA had invited tenders for appointment of general engineering consultant (GEC) for the first phase of the Ahmedabad Metro project. The consultant will help in design review and system integration, provide assistance in procurement, construction supervision, project management service, contract administration and various other aspects of the project. "We are expecting leading national and international companies to participate in the tender. The tender will be awarded by the end of May," said an official. MEGA recently announced major changes in the Metro route. Instead of the circular route planned earlier, a more linear one that integrates with the existing BRTS network was finalised for the project.
According to the DPR, the project will comprise East-West and North-South corridors, which would be nearly 36 km long. The East-West corridor will connect Thaltej with Vastral village and is estimated to cost Rs5,800 crore. The North-South corridor will connect Motera with APMC at Vasna and is estimated to cost Rs3,500 crore. Both corridors will intersect at Ashram Road.
The authorities also decided against extending the Metro to Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad airport in the first phase due to inadequate traffic. However, these places would be covered in the second phase.
MEGA is targeting completion of the first phase of the project by October 2018. Officials admitted that the deadline was challenging but sounded confident of meeting it.
Urban development minister Anandi Patel said in the assembly recently that several important studies related to the Metro project, such as geo-technical investigation, topographical surveys, multimodal integration analysis, household survey, traffic analysis, financial and economic viability, among others, have been completed.
She also said that over Rs500 crore had been spent on land development for depots, casting yard and testing yard, retaining wall, design survey, among other related works in 2012 and 2013.
MEGA is likely to opt for debt-equity model for financing the ambitious project and ask the Centre to part-fund it along with the state government.
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