The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) has granted Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC) “authorization” to begin commercial operations in the entire 40-kilometer stretch of Ahmedabad Metro Phase-1.
A senior GMRC official told “We have received CMRS authorisation today. It means we can begin commercial operations and carry passengers. This will perhaps be the longest stretch of 33-odd kilometers to receive clearance,”.
Currently Ahmedabad Metro operates only on a 6.5 kilometer stretch on the East-West Corridor (Vastral Gam-Apparel Park).
With this clearance, Phase-1 of Ahmedabad Metro is expected to become fully functional during Navratri.
PM Narendra Modi is expected to launch operations on the remaining 33.5 kilometers that have 23 stations.
“The exact dates have not been decided, but the launch will happen during Navratri,” the official added about the project for which ground work had begun about seven years ago. PM Modi had inaugurated a small 6.5 kilometer section of this project ahead of Lok Sabha polls in 2019.
The “authorisation” from CMRS comes after the body carried out detailed inspections on both the East-West Corridor (including the underground section between Apparel Park and Thaltej) and North-West Corridor (between APMC Vasna and Motera). The first inspection was carried out in August and the second one was held in first week of September.
GMRC officials said that the observations made by CMRS after the survey will be “complied with”. “There are some remarks and we have replied to the same,” the official added.
Despite the clearance, there are some incomplete sections in Phase-1. This include a 1.4-kilometre stretch between Thaltej and Thaltej Gam, the western-most stretch of the now partially operational East-West Corridor.
The other parts where work commenced late include the underground station of Kankaria-East and the Sabarmati metro station.
These works are expected to finish only by March 2023.
The cost of the project has risen by more than Rs 2000 crore as a result of the delay in its execution. This equates to approximately Rs 12700 crore spent on Phase 1 of the project.