Ghaziabad residents push for Metro rail; scrapping of ropeway project
The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), in its recently-concluded board meeting on April 30, approved the public-private-partnership (PPP) model for the ropeway project. The authority has already proposed four routes – New Bus Adda to old Ghaziabad railway station, river Hindon to Raj Nagar Extension, Vaishali to Sector 62, Noida and Mohan Nagar to Vaishali
The residents of Indirapuram have reservations over the proposed ropeway project in Ghaziabad and initiated a 10-day signature campaign for Metro rail connectivity. As a technical committee is about to find out the feasibility of the Mohan Nagar to Vaishali ropeway corridor, the residents said Metro connectivity will be a much better option.
They said Metro rail links from Mohan Nagar to Vaishali and Mohan Nagar to Sector 62 in Noida are the need of the hour.
The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), in its recently-concluded board meeting on April 30, approved the public-private-partnership (PPP) model for the ropeway project. The authority has already proposed four routes – New Bus Adda to old Ghaziabad railway station, river Hindon to Raj Nagar Extension, Vaishali to Sector 62, Noida and Mohan Nagar to Vaishali.
“We have started with a signature campaign and about 1,500 people have already given their support for Metro connectivity from Mohan Nagar to Sector 62 in Noida and Mohan Nagar to Vaishali. The Metro connectivity will be a high-speed link and will connect Ghaziabad and Noida. It is more favourable for residents of Indirapuram, Vaishali and Vasundhara,” said Sanjay Singh, councillor from ward number 100 and a resident of Shipra Sun City in Indirapuram.
“At the end of the campaign, we will submit the documents to the state officials as well as the local authorities. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has already constructed a pillar on the median of the Delhi Meerut Expressway (DME) near Sector 62 in Noida and this was for the purpose of extending the Blue Line towards Mohan Nagar,” councillor Singh added.
Singh is already contesting a petition in the Allahabad high court for expediting the handover of Indirapuram locality to the Ghaziabad municipal corporation.
Earlier in January 2020, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) submitted a detailed project report of the Sector 62 to Mohan Nagar Metro link and the cost was pegged at ₹1517 crore, while the Vaishali to Mohan Nagar link was estimated at a cost of ₹1,808.22 crore as per the detailed project report (DPR).
In both the DPRs, the proposed funding for the Metro project stated that 20% of the expenses were to be borne by the Centre and rest by the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, the authority has already finalised the Mohan Nagar to Vaishali ropeway link and the project is pegged at ₹450 crore, which is almost one-fourth of the cost needed for Metro rail.
“We have been piloting the campaign for Metro connectivity on these two routes for the past several years. The ropeway project is meant for places where there is hardly any scope for surface transport. Since the two Metro routes were on the verge of getting approved and the ropeway project was proposed much later, we have written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and also to the Union minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, and said that public funds should not be wasted on the ropeway project. This mode is slow-paced and is bound to fail. Instead, we demand that Mohan Nagar should be linked to Vaishali via a Metro link,” said UB Garg, president of Varishth Nagrik Samaj in Vasundhara, an association of residents’ and senior citizens.
Officials familiar with the development cite a host of reasons such as paucity of funds with the authority, no funding from the state government and the high cost involved in Metro corridor construction as reasons for opting for the ropeway project.
“A lot of progress has been made with regard to the ropeway link between Mohan Nagar and Vaishali. In the recently concluded board meeting, it was directed that a committee of officials will find out the feasibility of the ropeway routes. The committee will initially take up the feasibility survey of Mohan Nagar to Vaishali ropeway link and submit its report. Once the report is submitted, further action will be initiated,” said RK Gupta, GDA chief engineer.
After the conclusion of the board meeting last month, divisional commissioner Surendra Singh had told HT that a Metro link between Mohan Nagar and Vaishali is also under consideration.
GDA has already given the task of a feasibility report for the other three ropeway routes to the National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML), which is a 100% owned special purpose vehicle of NHAI.
Officials familiar with the development said that the funding of the ropeway will be taken up by the NHLML, while GDA’s share of about 26% will be paid in lieu of land for the entire project.