MEGA delay cost state Rs.40 Lakh every day

Ahmedabad (ADI): When Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) prepared the first detailed project report (DPR) for Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar metro rail service in June 2005, it had warned the state government that the exchequer would have to shell out Rs.40 lakh extra for every day of delay in the implementation of the project from the date of submission of the DPR.

Based on June 2004 prices, DMRC had estimated that the totally elevated metro rail network would cost Rs.4,305 crore. The operating cost, estimated back then, was Rs.276 crore per year. Eight years later in 2012, Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar & Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company Ltd estimated a cost of Rs.20,000 crore for a 76 km route.

The DMRC report had envisaged another phase for the metro project. Apart from the 42-km Vishala-Akshardham route and the Thaltej-Kalupur corridor, it had planned to add 51 km to phase I, which was to traverse from Changodar, Sarkhej, Iskon along SG Road, Khodiyar, Tarapur up to GIFT City.

What is interesting is that the new development plan for Ahmedabad declared by Auda in February last year had finalized a 200 meter zone around metro and BRTS corridor as Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zone allowing tall buildings with FSI of up to 4 to come up.

In 2005, DMRC had recommended increased FSI for buildings within 1 km radius along the metro corridor which would then be sold to the developer.

Another major recommendation of DMRC was fusing the metro with the regional rail network. The DMRC had demanded three extensions to the regional rail tracks – Barejadi-Kalupur-Kalol and Kalupur-Naroda. The extension involved a line along the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar via SG Road and one between Vasna and Sabarmati.

“The 2005 and the 2012 routes are being revisited again and there will be changes to make the metro system viable,” says a senior urban development department official.