State denies funding for two Metro extensions in Ghaziabad - Hindustan Times
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State denies funding for two Metro extensions in Ghaziabad

Feb 02, 2023 11:27 PM IST

The two proposed Metro routes are from Mohan Nagar to Vaishali and from Noida’s Sector 62 to Sahibabad, officials said

In a major setback to the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA)’s plans to extend two Metro routes within Ghaziabad for better connectivity, the state housing and urban planning department has refused to bear 50% of the project cost, as requested by the authority.

The state housing and urban planning department have declined to contribute towards share in the funding of two Metro extensions near Hindon River Metro station.   (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
The state housing and urban planning department have declined to contribute towards share in the funding of two Metro extensions near Hindon River Metro station.   (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

In a written communication to the GDA, the state housing and urban planning department said since the state was already funding a number of cost intensive mass transport systems like the Metro and RRTS in several other cities, it was not feasible to make investments towards the Metro extensions in Ghaziabad.

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The two proposed Metro routes are from Mohan Nagar to Vaishali and from Noida’s Sector 62 to Sahibabad, officials said.

In January 2020, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) submitted a project report to the GDA, with a project estimate of 1,517 crore for the Sector 62-Sahibabad route, and 1,808.22 crore for the Vaishali-Mohan Nagar route.

The two extensions would have linked city commuters to DMRC’s Blue Line network and also to the Red Line network. Ghaziabad city currently has two stations on the Blue Line (Anand Vihar to Vaishali) and eight stations on the Red Line network (Dilshad Garden to New Bus Adda).

“Considering the high costs involved, the GDA In December 2022 had written to the state seeking 50% funding for the Metro extensions. We have now received their reply and they have denied our request. So, extending the two routes may not be possible in the near future,” said Rakesh Kumar Gupta, chief engineer, GDA.

In a written communication, the state housing and urban planning department said different cities such as Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra and Gorakhpur have Metro projects, besides the Regional Rapid Transit System project in the National Capital Region.

“The state government has to make huge expenditure in form of investment/loans towards these projects. So, considering the resources available, it is not feasible to make investments towards the metro extensions. Different agencies can make contributions out of their own resources for funding the extensions,” the communication said.

The GDA is currently burdened with the repayment of huge loans that it had taken from banks to construct the 10.3km Hindon elevated road and also for awarding extra land compensation to farmers whose land was acquired for the Madhuban Bapudham housing scheme.

“We still have outstanding loans of about 700 crore. So, it may not be feasible for the GDA to fund the Metro projects right now. We may not be extending the New Bus Adda Metro (Red Line) towards Ghaziabad railway station; instead a ropeway project is feasible. For that, we have written to the agencies concerned to take up the project,” Gupta said.

For the past almost two years, the two Metro extensions had occupied much of GDA’s attention. Hamstrung by a paucity of funds, the GDA previously proposed linking the extensions by a ropeway project and later through the less capital intensive Metrolite and Metro Neo systems.

However, these alternative modes were vehemently opposed by residents and, the authority, in December 2022, finally decided that they will go ahead with the two Metro extensions if the state would bear half the expense.

However, the denial of funds by the state government has jeopardised the construction of the two Metro extensions, which were demanded by residents.

“Without the state’s intervention, the two extensions may not go through in the coming years. The government has provided funds for the RRTS project. So, they must contribute towards the Metro extensions as well. These extensions will considerably reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in Ghaziabad,” said Rajendra Tyagi, councillor from Raj Nagar.

“The two agencies -- GDA and the municipal corporation -- are yet to receive funds amounting to 1,000 crore from the state government as their share of the infrastructure development funds (IDF). If the government is not sharing towards Metro, they should provide the IDF share so that the agencies can complete the project on their own,” said Tyagi.

Another councillor, Himanshu Mittal from Kavi Nagar, has already moved the high court for expediting the release of the IDF share. The case is currently being heard by the Allahabad high court.

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