The final inspection by the commissioner for Metro Rail Safety is likely to be performed in September, following which the route will be operational by October.
Those who reside in Noida’s Sector 78, Sector 137 and 143, located along Noida Expressway or Greater Noida’s Pari Chowk have a reason to smile. The 29.8km elevated Noida-Greater Noida Metro link line, popularly known as the Aqua Line, is expected to begin operations from October 2018.
"We will complete the trials and procure all required clearances by September-end so that we may start operations in October this year. The first trail runs began in January, the second in April and the third on August 20," said Executive Director of Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC), PD Upadhyay.
Trials were conducted on the first stretch between Greater Noida’s Depot station and Sector 149. The second stretch, from Sector 146 to Noida Sector 83, was tested in May. The third leg from Sector 83 to Sector 71 started this week. The final inspection by the commissioner for metro rail safety is likely to be done in September.
Project cost for Aqua Line
The cost of the project is Rs 5,503 crore. "Around 20 percent of the project cost is to be borne by the Central government’s ministry of housing and urban affairs by equity and 30 per cent of the project cost is being taken as loan from NCR Planning Board. Noida and Greater Noida (that have a stake in the 70:30 ratio) on behalf of Uttar Pradesh have contributed Rs 339 crore that includes the land cost of the corridor," he explained.
Last mile connectivity
The Institute of Urban Transport has been tasked to work on the concept and provide for multi nodal traffic integration plan. "We have planned for traffic simulations at metro stations. We have planned for designated spaces for parking of buses, taxis, e-rickshaws and even a vendor zone at all stations along the corridor," he said.
A City One card will also be issued to commuters. This is a multi-wallet card applicable in the metro, parking area, buses and even for payment of Noida and Greater Noida utility services. SBI is the concessionaire for this card.
The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has been tasked with executing a survey on how many buses will be required along the corridor. The report is expected to ready in a month's time.
"Where bus ridership is expected to be low, they have been asked to provide options for other modes of transport," he said.
Stations that will be operational. Plans for fast trains
Some stations such as Sector 146 and Sector 149 have been planned keeping in mind future requirements. However, all stations will be operational at one go. "Trains will stop everywhere but there may be fast trains later depending on ridership in some stations. After operating the trains for a month if we find that ridership is less in some stations, we may decide to run fast trains and skip some stations. But initially the entire corridor will be thrown open," he noted.
Co-branding of stations
NMRC has invited bids from companies to sell naming rights of all 21 stations in an attempt to generate revenue. The successful bidder will get a licence for co-branding a metro station for a period of 10 years. "We had invited tender for all the stations and received good response. Nine bids have been received. These will be announced by end of this month," he stated.
Walkway connecting Blue Line and Aqua Line
Consumers travelling from Delhi to Sector 32 Noida City Centre station via the Blue Line will have to wait to hop on directly onto the Aqua Line as the Blue Line extension up to Sector 52 is not yet operational. The walkway proposed to come up in Sector 71 will also take some time. "Once the sector 52 station is operational, they may have to walk 100 m through a walkaway to be developed by NMRC to reach Sector 71 and take the Aqua Line," Metro sources said.
The construction of the skywalk planned between Sector 71 and Sector 52 stations of the Aqua and the Blue line, will take time as the skywalk has been planned keeping in mind the design of a commercial complex to be developed on the land between the two metro stations. It needs to be auctioned.
10 megawatt of solar power to be generatedThe corridor is expected to generate 10 megawatt of solar power. Excess power will be sent to the grid. Panels will be installed in parking lots as well to help minimise running costs of stations.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.