Intra-city Rail Network planned in Gujarat’s Special Investment Region

Ahmedabad:  The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) plans to build an Intra-city Rail Network in the Dholera Special Investment Region in Gujarat. A senior official of DMICDC told that since Dholera is being developed as a city of the future with an integrated infrastructure, this will help attract investments and enhance productivity. Therefore, the corporation is considering the setting up either a mono or Metro rail system for commuters to travel within the city. The corporation will shortly appoint a consultant to study the technical and financial feasibility of the transport project.

The project is estimated to cost $500 million.  The Dholera region, spread over 900 square kilometres, is being developed as a new greenfield industrial hub in Gujarat. It is about 100 km south of Ahmedabad and a designated investment zone under the ambitious Delhi Mumbai Industrial corridor project.

DMICDC is the lead developer of Dholera. The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development project is being partly funded by the Japanese Government.

The DMIDC has already acquired about 100 of land under the first phase. Construction for the city will start by December. The land has been acquired using the pooling method, which ensures that the original owner gets back compensatory land close to the project site.

The government plans to put in place a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) and a Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS) between Ahmedabad and Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) to give impetus to the development of DSIR. These systems are to be set up at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC).

Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer and managing director of DMICDC, said, “We have invited global tenders to prepare a development plan of MRTS and RRTS. We have appointed Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) as the consultant. We expect the project to kick off in six months.”

He said that a public transport model will be used to connect Dholera with Ahmedabad within the proposed DSIR. “The travel time between Ahmedabad and Dholera will come down to just 50 minutes. The project will be funded by Government of India,” added Kant.

He said that a key reason for delay in the development of Dholera is lack of quality internal transport and connectivity.

RITES will undertake various surveys and decide on route alignment besides checking designs of existing bridges and structures along the corridor. The DMICDC has started preparing an interim report on various technical aspects of MRTS and RRTS system that is proposed to be developed along an expressway road corridor from Ahmedabad to DSIR.

RITES will establish broad technical feasibility of MRTS and RRTS route to connect Ahmedabad with Dholera based on at-grade and elevated options. It will determine the sections requiring land acquisition, shifting of alignment, crossovers and recommend most appropriate alignment, including rerouting required, if found, necessary. It will also identify relocation of over-ground and underground utilities and works required for diversion and list of obstructions to be dismantled.

Sources said that land for MRTS and RRTS is being acquired along with that for a six-lane expressway.