Former Ghaziabad Development Authority vice chairman Santosh Yadav has recently taken over as the managing director of Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC), the post which till now was held by Noida Authority chairperson Rama Raman. In a conversation with HT Estates, he talks about plans to expedite work on the 30-km Noida to Greater Noida Expressway Metro link, environment friendly steps taken by NMRC and other issues.
You have reviewed the progress of the 30-km Noida-Greater Noida Metro link currently under construction. When is it expected to be operational? Will the entire stretch be ready at one go?
The progress has been reviewed by me and I am sure that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation shall meet the deadline of the project, ie March 2018 as per the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between DMRC and Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC). We are trying to achieve the target of December 2017 since civil works are progressing satisfactorily. The most critical part of the Metro system is the rolling stock signalling system followed by the trial runs that are conducted to ensure safety and certification by the commissioner of Metro rail safety. The stretch is planned for operation in one go from Greater Noida to Noida.
What about trial runs?
Since the depot is located in Greater Noida, the trial run section of 10km length will be readied first. Trial runs are important to ensure safety certification of all systems.
There are 21 stations in total. The trials are likely to start by August 2017 since the first lot of trains is expected in June 2017. We will try to ensure that the civil work, track work and electric wire work etc are ready in the trial section, i.e Greater Noida area starting from depot to Knowledge Park 2 station.
Some stations, especially 144, 145, 154 and 157 have been reserved for SEZs under Noida’s Master Plan. In Delhi, an area has to have a population of around 1.5 lakh for it to have a Metro station? Is Noida setting a precedent by constructing stations first and waiting for people/offices to move in later? What is planned for these sectors? Will the stations be operational at the same time when the 30 km link will be ready? Please elaborate.
As you would agree, the detailed project report for this corridor was made by DMRC and various feasibility studies were undertaken by DMRC to come up with a viable and optimal corridor connecting the twin cities of Noida and Greater Noida. These were reserved for SEZs under the Master Plan and there is nothing existing in this sectors as of now. Noida is known for providing infrastructure first and that’s what we are doing here. We want to provide connectivity to these sectors first, development can take place eventually.
Please elaborate on the environment-friendly features of the link. Will it have solar panels etc? Recently there was a petition challenging the construction of the link as environment clearance had not been taken. It was alleged that the link passes through Hindon and since the Metro piers will be constructed on the river bed, it will harm the aquatic habitat of the river. It was also alleged that the total water requirement for the project is 1.40 crore litres that will be met by digging borewells. Is it true? Please comment.
Since the environment issue is sub judice (National Green Tribunal), I will not like to comment. A detailed reply has already been filed by DMRC and NMRC. Metro projects are exempt from taking environmental clearance and DMRC projects have been built across the Yamuna river at many locations in Delhi. They will take similar precautions here also while crossing the river Hindon.With regard to water requirement, the stations need around 15,000 litres of water every day which is being arranged through Noida and Greater Noida as per their system network. The water requirement for the depot in Greater Noida will be high due to train washing etc. Also rain water harvesting is being done at all viaduct stations and depots as per DMRC practices. The water used in the depot shall be 100% recycled during the second tier for use in depot.
Environment measures are being taken at site to avoid dust pollution such as regular sprinkling of water, use of polymers instead of bentonite to avoid any ground water contamination etc.
Solar panels have been planned on this corridor on roofs of all station depots and boundary wall of depots.
We have targeted 10 mw of solar power generation along this corridor and also plan to get the diamond rating for our buildings by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).