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A far cry for neighbours

delhi Updated: Dec 10, 2009 01:49 IST
Highlight Story

More than five lakh people travel by buses from the satellite towns to Delhi everyday for work.

Another 1.75 lakh people travel to the Capital everyday by local trains, while the number of people driving to Delhi is five lakh.

These are the findings of a study conducted by RITES, a central government consulting agency, about the commuting pattern in the National Capital Region (NCR).

And yet, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) foray into the satellite towns has started with a truncated route of just 13 kilometres in Noida, which opened this November.

By October 2010, Delhi Metro will complete construction of 190 kilometres (phase I and Phase II) of network. The network in the neighbouring cities will cover only 23 kilometres — 13 kilometres in Noida, 7.5 km in Gurgaon and 2.5 km in Ghaziabad — and will give the ridership a fillip of just two lakh passengers.

The Delhi government has given the DMRC a go-ahead to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for an 85-kilometre network in Delhi in Phase III, but there is still no mention of the Metro’s extension to NCR towns.

Ghaziabad

Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) officials said they wanted at least 28 kilometres of the Metro in Ghaziabad, as the city lacks a reliable transport system.

“We need to extend the Metro, but money is a major problem,” said GDA chief engineer Anil Garg. “We are providing Rs 260 crore for 2.57 kilometres between Anand Vihar and Vaishali."

He said for further extension more than Rs 2000 crore is needed. “We need support from other development agencies.”

The GDA got a DPR made for a 9.8-km line between Dilshad Garden in Delhi and the new bus stand in Ghaziabad. Lack of funds has prevented it from pushing for the project.

Noida

The Noida and the Greater Noida authorities are currently trying to figure out a way to fund a 29-kilometre extension of the Metro from Noida Sec 32 to Pari Chowk in Greater Noida.

“Noida and the Greater Noida boards have approved the proposed extension," said Surinder Singh Nagar, member of Parliament, Gautam Budha Nagar.

Faridabad

Haryana government officials said the project to connect Faridabad by Metro needs a final approval from the Centre and the Delhi government. A DPR is ready and the project has also been approved by the DMRC, an official said.

Gurgaon

A Metro line in Gurgaon will be ready for commuters by March next year. The Haryana government is now plans to connect the city with the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

It also plans to extend the metro network southward from Sushant Lok terminal station to Manesar.

Case Studies

Ramesh Negi

Commutes from Greater Noida to Delhi

Ramesh Negi, a resident of Greater Noida, has a tough time reaching office everyday and returning home.

An assistant engineer with All India Radio in New Delhi, Negi depends on the local public transport system.

"We are at mercy of the driver and conductor. They move the vehicle according to their whims and fancies," said Negi. "They often don't stop buses at the designated stops."

When the Delhi Metro started the Noida section in November this year, Negi thought it would solve commuting problems of thousands of people living in Greater Noida who work in Delhi.

"The so-called feeder bus from Greater Noida drops me at Sector 37, about half-a-kilometre from the Botanical Garden metro station. The bus crew asks us for an additional Rs. 5 to drop us to the metro station," said Negi. "The only hope for us now is the Metro's extension to Greater Noida."

Preeti Sharma

Commutes from Ghaziabad to Delhi

Preeti Sharma is a teacher with a private school in central Delhi. She wishes that Ghaziabad too gets a modern and fast Metro system on the lines of Delhi.

She spends at least four hours commuting everyday. A good Metro system would make life easier for her.

“I take a bus or an auto to Anand Vihar border and then a DTC bus or another auto that takes me to my school in central Delhi,” said Sharma. “I have no option but to travel by rickety and unreliable autos and buses. I feel so unsafe travelling in these vehicles.”

Though local trains are an option available to Sharma, she avoids them as most of them are overcrowded.

Auto-rickshaws in Delhi often add to her woes. “Whenever I finish late at work, I have to take an auto, which charges me a Rs 250 or so. I think the Metro is a must for working women who want a safe and comfortable transport system,” she said.

With time, her commute to Delhi has become more expensive and troublesome.

“We have been heard that Ghaziabad is being connected by the Metro. The state government should take immediate steps for the project to benefit people living in Ghaziabad,” Sharma said.


‘Trying to work out a way to fund expansion’

Lalit Kumar Srivastava,
Chairman, Noida and Greater Noida Authorities

Thousands of people commute to Delhi everyday from Noida and Greater Noida. What are your Metro expansion plans?

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has prepared a detailed project report for a 30-kilometre extension from Sector 32 City Centre in Noida to Pari Chowk in Greater Noida. At the current rate, it will cost us Rs 3,000 crore... Noida and Greater Noida are trying to work out a way to fund the project.

Is the Metro viable for Noida and Greater Noida?

Metro is not a viable project unless the city is densely populated. But it helps in developing the area fast. As far as the other models of mass rail transit are concerned, we don’t want to have a system that cannot be upgraded later.

Is there a plan to extend the Metro to Jewar?

There is a proposal to develop an international airport at Jewar. If the government and the agencies are willing, the Noida-Greater Noida line can be extended to the proposed airport.

DMRC is insisting that the states bear the operational costs.

Yes, the states will have to bear the operational costs. The DMRC takes that guarantee from states before taking up a project.


‘We need Rs 20 billion for two extensions’

Narendra Kumar Chaudhary,
Vice-Chairman, Ghaziabad Development Authority

What are your plans for Metro expansion in Ghaziabad?

We have planned to extend the Rithala-Dilshad Garden line to the New Bus Stand and also to extend the Anand Vihar-Vaishali line to CISF campus in Indirapuram. For these extensions, we require massive fundings, which the Ghaziabad Development Authority cannot provide alone. Future extensions would be possible through joint fundings with other development agencies

How much money is required?

We need another Rs 20 billion (Rs 2,000 crore) for these two extensions. We will first arrange for funds and then approach the DMRC with the proposal.

Have you spoken to the state government and the development agencies?

We have already sent our proposal to the state government and are awaiting a response. We have to follow a procedure. But this definitely needs to be expedited because Ghaziabad does not have a proper transport system to keep up with the development that has taken place.

Do you think joint funding will work?

We are hopeful and the rest depends on the state government. Unless all agencies pool in money, the extension in Ghaziabad is not possible.

What are your plans for Metro expansion in Ghaziabad?

We have planned to extend the Rithala-Dilshad Garden line to the New Bus Stand and also to extend the Anand Vihar-Vaishali line to CISF campus in Indirapuram. For these extensions, we require massive fundings, which the Ghaziabad Development Authority cannot provide alone. Future extensions would be possible through joint fundings with other development agencies

How much money is required?

We need another Rs 20 billion (Rs 2,000 crore) for these two extensions. We will first arrange for funds and then approach the DMRC with the proposal.

Have you spoken to the state government and the development agencies?

We have already sent our proposal to the state government and are awaiting a response. We have to follow a procedure. But this definitely needs to be expedited because Ghaziabad does not have a proper transport system to keep up with the development that has taken place.

Do you think joint funding will work?

We are hopeful and the rest depends on the state government. Unless all agencies pool in money, the extension in Ghaziabad is not possible.