GDA Officials Raise Concerns Over Proposed Metro Route
Officials from the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) have expressed doubts about the feasibility of the newly proposed Metro route connecting Sector 62 in Noida to Vaishali in Ghaziabad. The GDA has identified several stretches of private land along the proposed corridor, which could pose legal and financial challenges in terms of land acquisition. Furthermore, another proposed route from Mohan Nagar to Vaishali has been deemed less feasible as it could negatively impact the ridership of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project.
Discussion with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)
In light of these concerns, GDA officials are scheduled to meet with representatives from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to discuss the newly proposed route as well as two previously rejected routes. The two routes under consideration are the Mohan Nagar to Vaishali route and the Sector 62, Noida to Sahibabad route. The DMRC had submitted a project report in January 2020, estimating a budget of ₹1,517 crore for the Sector 62 to Sahibabad route and ₹1,808.22 crore for the Vaishali to Mohan Nagar route.
Manvendra Singh, the officiating chief engineer of GDA, stated that the acquisition of private land along the proposed Sector 62 to Vaishali route presents significant legal and financial obstacles. Due to these challenges, the GDA considers the two previously proposed routes to be more viable options.
Discussions with DMRC officials will determine whether the Sector 62 to Sahibabad route, which could also serve as an interchange hub for RRTS passengers, is the most feasible alternative. Concerns have been raised that the Mohan Nagar to Vaishali route could potentially reduce ridership on the RRTS.
Financial Constraints and Consideration of Alternatives
The GDA is facing substantial financial constraints, as the state government recently denied 50% of the funding for Ghaziabad Metro projects. Additionally, the GDA is burdened with repaying loans obtained for the construction of the Hindon elevated road and providing increased compensation to farmers in the Madhuban Bapudham housing scheme.
Due to a lack of funds, the GDA has been exploring various options to connect the two previously proposed Metro extensions for nearly two years. Alternative suggestions such as a ropeway link connection, Metrolite (a light rail urban transit system for low ridership cities), and Metro Neo (a low-cost mass rapid transit system for tier 2 and tier 3 cities) were put forward by GDA officials.
However, residents voiced their preference for Metro connectivity and opposed these alternatives. In December 2022, the GDA acknowledged that Metro connectivity on the two previously proposed routes would be the most favorable option. Recently, in June, a new 5.83km route from Sector 62 to Vaishali emerged as a potential solution.
Residents Demand Action
UB Garg, president of Varishth Nagrik Samaj, Vasundhara, an association of residents and senior citizens, expressed frustration with the prolonged decision-making process.
Garg stated that requests were made to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and other officials, urging them to enhance the feasibility of the two previous routes and prepare revised detailed project reports (DPRs). If no progress is made and the situation is deemed a political gimmick leading up to the 2024 elections, residents are prepared to stage a protest.
|Proposed Routes||Estimated Budget (in crore)|
|Sector 62 to Sahibabad||₹1,517|
|Vaishali to Mohan Nagar||₹1,808.22|
|Sector 62 to Vaishali (new)||–|
|Mohan Nagar to Vaishali (new)||–|