Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) is preparing to run Neo metro on three routes in the metropolis. Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) Executive Director Anoop Agarwal recently inspected the first route from Vaishali to Mohan Nagar, the second route from Noida Sector 62 to Rapid Station Sahibabad and the third from Hindon River Bank Metro Station to Rajnagar Extension.
The preliminary investigation by MMRC found the three proposed routes to be suitable for Neo Metro operation. In such an event, the GDA will be brainstorming on taking the project forward, once the preliminary report of the inspection is submitted by MMRC to the GDA this week.
Metro projects are capital intensive in nature. Due to high capital expenditure nature of the metro rail, MetroLite and MetroNeo have come up as alternatives to conventional metro rail.
MetroNeo is rubber-tyred electric coach powered by overhead traction system running on a road slab with an exclusive right of way, standard specification of which has been issued in November 2020.
It provides a similar experience and ease of travel in terms of comfort, convenience, safety, punctuality, reliability and environment-friendliness as that of a conventional metro system. This is suitable for tier-two cities and can be developed at a cost of about 25 per cent of conventional metro system.
Low capital cost of MetroNeo is attributed to much lighter civil structure due to lesser axle load (10 ton), absence of track and signalling, open and simple station structure, and requirement of low power rated electrical equipments among other factors.
The 32 km long Nashik Metro Neo Project in Maharashtra is the country’s first Metro Neo project. The project having two corridors got Cabinet approval in March, 2021 and is expected to be completed in four years.
Similarly, preparations are being made by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to bring Neo Metro between Kirti Nagar to Dwarka.
Cheaper than ropeway
The Ghaziabad Development Authority came up with the Vaishali-Mohan Nagar ropeway project in July last year. The total cost of the 5.17 km ropeway project from Vaishali to Mohan Nagar was Rs 450 crore- the same stretch could be covered using Neo Metro project at a cost of around Rs 416 crore.
The position of the cost will be clear after the preliminary report of MMRC comes out. The lower cost will make it easier for the GDA to complete the project.
The people of Trans Hindon area have been protesting against the GDA’s ropeway project for the last four months. With the gradual sit-in demonstration, people are engaged in raising their voice against the ropeway through social media platforms and other means.
In such a situation, efforts are also being made to stop the protest of the people by bringing forward the Neo Metro project.
The first two projects will be in priority
GDA Chief Engineer Rakesh Kumar Gupta says that the preliminary report from MMRC will include other information related to the project including cost. The work on preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) will start after studying the preliminary report.
The GDA would like to prioritise the first route from Vaishali to Mohan Nagar and the second route from Noida Sector-62 to Sahibabad Rapid Rail Station project.
If the project gets go-ahead, the state will have all three types of Metro Rail - Metro, MetroLite and MetroNeo. The state already has operational Metro networks in Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida and Kanpur. The state government is working on expanding the services to Agra, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Meerut, Bareilly, Jhansi and Prayagraj. The project is nearing completion in Agra.
Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail has also proposed Gorakhpur MetroLite project. According to official sources, the project is waiting Central Cabinet approval.
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