Ahmedabad: Metro goes underground to protect monuments
There are many ASI protected monuments in the Walled City and it was not possible to have elevated corridor.
More than one-sixth of the nearly 36-km rail corridor in the first phase of the Ahmedabad Metro project will be underground, the updated detailed project report (DPR) submitted by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, shows. Officials said the presence of protected monuments was the reason why they have opted for underground Metro in the Walled City areas.
According to officials of the Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA), the 6.3-km stretch of the Metro’s East-West corridor, from Shahpur to New Cotton Mills, will be underground and the remaining 29.62 km would be elevated.
“We realised that it was not possible to have elevated structure for Metro in the Walled City areas due to the presence of several ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) protected monuments, which is why we have decided to opt for underground Metro on that stretch,” Vijay Nehra, chief executive officer of MEGA, said.
Some of the protected monuments in the area are Delhi Darwaja, Kalupur Darwaja, Prem Darwaja, Shaking Minarets, Sidi Syed Jali, Bhadrakali temple, Bhadra Fort, Jami Masjid, among others.
Areas within 100 metres of all protected monuments are declared prohibited by the ASI and all construction activity is barred in those parts.
Officials said several routes were considered for the elevated Metro corridor in areas where many of the protected monuments exist. But, none of the options worked as the route overlapped with the prohibited area of one or the other monument. “We felt the underground stretch was the best option to avoid prohibited areas around protected monuments,” said an official.
The elevated Metro corridor is estimated to cost around Rs200 crore for every kilometre, while the underground section costs Rs500 crore per km.
The cost of first phase of the Ahmedabad project is pegged at Rs9,300 crore. The cost of the 20.53-km East-West corridor is estimated at Rs5,800 crore, whereas the 15.42-km-long North-South corridor would cost Rs3,500 crore. There will be 32 Metro stations in the first phase, of which 28 will be elevated and four — Shahpur, Relief Road, Kalupur railway station and New Cotton Mills — will be underground.
The updated DPR of the Ahmedabad Metro was approved by the MEGA board on Monday and sent to the state government on Friday.
According to the DPR, the Metro will carry 4.60 lakh passengers every day once it becomes operational in 2018. The number of passengers will go up to 6.63 lakh by 2021, 9.24 lakh by 2031 and 12.45 lakh by 2043.
The cost of first phase of the Ahmedabad project is pegged at Rs9,300 crore
32 Metro stations in the first phase, of which 28 will be elevated and four — Shahpur, Relief Road, Kalupur railway station and New Cotton Mills — will be underground.
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