Considered a small stretch of 2.57km from Anand Vihar to Vaishali, which opened for passenger operations on Thursday, the footfall figures at the two Metro stations of Vaishali and Kaushambi collectively arrived at over 41,000 on the inaugural day.
If one goes by the figures of other National Capital Region (NCR) Metro sections of Noida and Gurgaon, which opened earlier, the first-day footfall at six stations in Noida was round 80,000 and at five stations in Gurgaon stretch was around 30,000. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said a footfall of 41,000 on the first day at a small stretch was very encouraging. In fact, a DMRC-commissioned traffic survey had earlier indicated that footfall on the Vaishali stretch would go up to 40,000 by the end of this year. Much to their surprise, they found that the target was achieved on the first day itself.
Earlier, the DMRC had expected around 40,000 commuters to start using the Ghaziabad Metro. The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) expects around 60,000 passengers and more.
GDA plans to bring Metro to other areas of Ghaziabad like the one from Dilshad-Garden to Arthala (near Mohan Nagar), a 7.31 km route with an investment of Rs 1,282 crore. Recently, GDA also submitted a Rs 3,700-crore proposal of 12 infrastructure projects, which also highlighted the extension of Vaishali link to Arthala (near Mohan Nagar) at an investment of Rs 650 crore.
“These projects will tap the huge commuter-base the city has to offer. We are now planning ahead with the Dilshad-Garden-Arthala link in phase-2 of Ghaziabad Metro,” GDA vice-chairman Narendra Kumar Chaudhary said. Once the Metro arrives at Arthala, commuters from Sahibabad, Lajpat Nagar, Rajinder Nagar, Shalimar Garden, Raj Nagar Extension and city areas will be benefitted.
Connecting the twin cities
Even the Uttar Pradesh government recently approved a plan to connect the twin cities of Ghaziabad and Noida with the extension of Metro.
The officials of Noida Authority recently said there were plans to link Noida City Centre (Sector 32) to Sector 62 (adjacent to Ghaziabad on NH-24). Once the Metro arrives to Sector 62, its linking with the two cities will become possible. The areas that are expected to get Metro connectivity in Noida include sectors 32, 34, 35, 51, 52, 60, 61, 62, 63, 71, Hoshiyarpur, Noida-extension Marg and Sarfabad.
With inputs from Darpan Singh in Noida