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Last minute glitches fail to derail Metro

india Updated: Jul 14, 2011 00:53 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal

Two days after the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) decision to open the 2.57km Metro corridor in Ghaziabad for the public, the Uttar Pradesh government had decided to send cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya for the low-key inauguration at Vaishali station today.

Meanwhile, speaking to Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) vice-chairman Narendra Kumar Chaudhary said the authority has lodged a verbal protest with Metro officials in Delhi regarding the sudden announcement about opening the corridor.

“We were informed, verbally, on Wednesday morning about the opening of the Ghaziabad section.We have lodged a protest with Metro officials. We were not informed even though we were (working) in close coordination with them and have paid for the project,” Chaudhary said.

The GDA paid Rs 260 crore to DMRC for the Ghaziabad Metro section and spent an additional around R40 crore for development of facilities and other infrastructure enroute Kaushambi and Vaishali stations.

The DMRC had, on Tuesday, announced that the Ghaziabad corridor would open on July 14, after the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) had carried out final inspection of the route.

“We have received clearance from the CMRS. The decision to open the corridor for the public on July 14 was taken at a higher level. So, we cannot comment on what may have happened,” a DMRC spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, DMRC sources also said that they did not receive any formal communication from GDA about the tentative inauguration on July 16. Earlier, UP chief minister Mayawati was expected to flag off the Metro on July 9 but the program was postponed to July 16.

A senior GDA official, requesting anonymity, said that the matter of non-communication about the opening on July 14 “could affect the second phase of Metro extension in Ghaziabad.”

However, GDA vice-chairman Chaudhary refuted such apprehensions and said that the second phase of the project — from Dilshad Garden to Arthala (near Mohan Nagar) — is expected to go ahead.

40,000 riders on new corridor
After Gurgaon and Noida, Ghaziabad will become the third city in the National Capital Region (NCR) to be linked to the Metro network.

The first Metro will be available at Vaishali at 7am today and from 6am to 11pm, Friday onward. The 2.57km route will benefit commuters from Indirapuram, Kaushambi, Vaishali, Vasundhara, Delta Colonies and Sahibabad.

DMRC officials expect around 40,000 passengers to start using the corridor. Officials expect the section would also help decongest the nearby Anand Vihar station.