Even after a year when the state government had announced five Metro lines in Gautam Budh Nagar district, work on all the proposed routes is yet to begin. Three Metro extension projects towards Greater Noida have got stuck because of a host of issues, while two in Noida - towards Ghaziabad and Delhi - continue to face hurdles.
Delhi Metro entered Noida in November 2010. The mood was euphoric as the city got six stations - with the service starting from Sector 15 and ending at Sector 32 (City Centre) - and a direct connectivity with Delhi.
But the intra-city connectivity still remained a big problem. So the state government about a year ago hurriedly announced five more lines. The government also allocated Rs. 12,000 crore for the purpose with the promise that the projects would be completed by 2016.
But the execution has left much to be desired. The three routes towards Greater Noida have almost been shelved. Uttar Pradesh urban development minister Azam Khan recently said, "Our priority is farmers. The authority is already facing fund crunch."
The two Noida lines have been delayed because of alignment and land parcel issues. Though work was slated to start early this year, the Noida authority has not yet cleared the detailed project reports (DPRs) of these two routes submitted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). MoUs between the two agencies are yet to be signed.
But officials beg to differ. "Both Noida lines are on track. Alignment for South Delhi route is final. There are minor glitches in the line towards Ghaziabad due to water pipelines and high-tension wires. Signing of MoUs is a mere formality," said Rajpal Kaushik, chief town planner, Noida authority. "For the line towards South Delhi, we need land from Botanical Garden in Noida. A requisition has been sent to the competent authority. Work will start soon," he said.
Greater Noida lines have been affected because of agitations by farmers, non-clearance of Greater Noida's master plan by the NCR Planning Board and cash crunch. "But we're determined now to start these projects," said Rama Raman, CEO, G Noida authority.
Noida has 150 sectors. Out of them, 90 are developed. About 55 sectors are directly or indirectly linked to Metro. The rest are still cut off. The South Delhi link will provide connectivity to sectors 44, 94 and 95 besides Delhi areas such as Kalkaji, Maliviya Nagar, Nehru Place, Green Park and Vasant Kunj. The sector 62 line will provide connectivity to sectors 32, 34, 35, 50, 51, 52, 71, 72, 60, 61, 62, 63 64, 65 and 66.