Saturday, January 30, 2010

Central nod soon for Gurgaon Private Metro Link

The much-awaited private Metro link in Gurgaon, which will act as a feeder to the main Delhi Metro line, would soon become a reality as Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy announced that the final approval for the project will be granted soon. The file has been pending with his department for several months. A new Metro line to Manesar is also being proposed.

Speaking at the inauguration of a trial run on the Delhi Metro line to Gurgaon, Reddy said Metro is India’s future mode of commute as urbanization is an inevitable phenomenon. Over 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, while in India it’s just 30%.

‘‘We need to bring about a change in mindsets. The Delhi-Gurgaon expressway is one of the best elevated roads in the country. But it still took me over 40 minutes to get here. Public transport is the future. We are soon considering a formal sanction of the private Metro line in Gurgaon,’’ Reddy said.

Pushing for the private link, DMRC managing director E Sreedharan said: ‘‘The private Metro link being planned in Gurgaon should be taken up at the earliest as this will act as an effective feeder to Delhi Metro. The link is expected to bring an additional 1 lakh commuter to the main Delhi Metro system.’’

Even as a Letter of Award was granted to a consortium of IL & FS and DLF Metro in July last year and a foundation stone was also laid for the line a month later, the construction has not started as the approval of the urban development ministry is awaited. A Special Purpose Vehicle, Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon, has been formed to construct and operate the system, which will come up on a PPP model. From the time that the final approval comes, the line will take about 30 months to get operational.

It will be integrated with the Delhi Metro Gurgaon line at Sikandarpur Metro station through a foot-over-bridge and the SPV is also working on a system of integrated ticketing between the two modes for seamless connectivity. The frequency will always be synchronized with the Delhi Metro system to ensure that passengers don’t have to wait for long.

The private Metro line will be five-km long in the first phase and will have six stops at Sikandarpur, DLF-2, Belvedere Park, Gateway Tower, Mall of India and DLF-3. The project will come up at a cost of Rs 900 crore and trains will operate at a frequency of about four minutes to start with.