The proposed Dwarka-Gurgaon metro link, which has been in a limbo for over three years, is likely to be delayed further.
Dissatisfied with three earlier detailed project reports (DPRs), the Haryana Mass
Rapid Transport Corporation (HMRTC) has asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to draft a fresh feasibility report.
The three proposals — to extend the Airport Metro and the alignment of two other routes — were junked by the state citing lack of viability.
Although senior Haryana government officials maintain that the delay is owing to feasibility issues, there are apprehensions that political differences and commercial interests could be the real reasons behind the hold-up.
Sources said the state plans to fund the entire project --- estimated to cost around `5,000 crore --- and this is the reason why the government is hesitant in making a call.
Although the Delhi Metro’s yellow line has played an important role in connecting Gurgaon with Delhi, the metro service only barely addresses the requirement. The yellow line has just five stations in the city and with a daily ridership of over one lakh in Gurgaon, the need for a second metro line and expansion of the existing network is immediate.
Though Rapid Metro is extending its network, it is more focused on serving private colonies, IT and corporate firms.
In March 2015, Union minister of state for planning (independent charge) and Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh had written to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar about the metro extension. The minister requested the CM to extend the metro service to Old Gurgaon and also connect Gurgaon with Dwarka as soon as possible.
Given the high density development in Dwarka and Gurgaon, there is a huge potential for induced demand.
A study by School of Planning and Architecture led by Prof Sewa Ram estimated that the line will see nearly 11,000 trips per hour during peak hours. About 65% of these trips will be headed to Udyog Vihar, Palam Vihar, DLF City Phase 3, Sikanderpur and Kapashera in Gurgaon.
Emphasising the need for the metro link, Prof Sewa Ram said two alignments were found feasible as per engineering requirements and commuter needs. While one will help in boosting connectivity along Kapashera, Udyog Vihar and Cyber City, the other alignment till Iffco Chowk will provide metro continuity throughout Gurgaon.
“Instead of dilly dallying, the Haryana government should decide quickly,” he said.
However, the Haryana government is in a bind as to which will be the most feasible, profitable and politically beneficial route.
Gurgaon MLA Umesh Agarwal said the new metro line is a priority of Haryana government. “As it is a large project, it is taking time to finalise. I can assure the city that major decisions will be taken within the next six months,” he said.
Additional chief secretary of Town and Country Planning department P Raghavendra Rao also assured that a decision will be taken soon.
“We have completed all deliberations and studied the project in detail. The major issue was feasibility – whether there will be adequate ridership on the line. We want maximum people to benefit from the metro line and a decision is on the cards. The CM is most likely to take a call on the project soon,” he said.
Rao added that the government is likely to convene a meeting of all stakeholders, including the DMRC, to clear the decks.