No consensus on metro link to IGI & Dwarka, CM to explore viable routes

GURUGRAM: Manohar Lal Khattar is likely to chair a special meeting this Friday to work out a possible metro route to link Gurugram directly with Dwarka and the IGI airport — a long-pending demand that has the potential to streamline vehicular movement and reduce traffic volume choking the roads connecting the two cities.

Officials in the know said a proposal for a mass rapid transit between these two highly populated areas had been gathering dust since 2012 in the absence of any consensus among politicians and bureaucrats on a rail route, forcing lakhs of commuters to deal with massive snarls on a daily basis to reach their work places in Gurugram from west Delhi.

Even during its second meeting on April 12, the recently formed Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) failed to arrive at a consensus in this regard, prompting the chief minister to call for a special meeting at the earliest underlining his intent to put the project on a fast track.

In this regard, the Khattar government, in July 2015, had shot down a proposal submitted by the Rail Corporation (DMRC) in 2012, to link Dwarka Sector 21 with Iffco Chowk via Palam Vihar and Bijwasan. The cost to construct an underground route was estimated to be nearly Rs 450 crore/kilometre. The government claimed the project was financially unviable as not many people would use the route.

Again, last year, DMRC had suggested two alternatives for extending the metro services to Old Gurugram and then stretching it further up to Dwarka. Currently, Huda City Centre is the terminal station on the Yellow line, while DMRC’s Blue and Airport Express lines converge at Dwarka Sector 21.

But earlier this year, the government approved one of the two routes but decided to terminate it at Gurugram railway station, instead of taking it all the way up to Dwarka Sector 21. The approved route starts at Huda City Centre, crosses NH-8 at Hero Honda Chowk via Subhash Chowk and Netaji Subhash Marg, and goes up to Gurugram railway station through sectors 37 and 4. “A meeting on the proposed metro expansion will be held in the CM’s camp office, wherein a presentation will be made by the Haryana Metro Rail Transport Corporation (HMRTC). Officials from DMRC will also be present along with the Gurugram MP, MLA, mayor, chief secretary and other senior officials,” said a GMDA official.

“Right now there is no direct metro link between Gurugram and Dwarka or Dhaula Kuan though lakhs of people travel to these two places from the city. Besides, there is a dire need to have a link to the IGI airport because a huge number of frequent travellers and employees of various airlines live in Gurugram. In the meeting on Friday, we will discuss all possible routes to link these places,” Gurugram MP Rao Inderjit told TOI.

“One of the ways is to have a direct line to the IGI airport. Since the Airport Express line runs though Terminal 3 (T3), Gurugram commuters can reach Dhaula Kuan using that. Also, the Pink Line is operational in Dhaula Kuan that connects major parts of north and south Delhi. This new link that we are proposing can also be connected with the Magenta Line at Terminal 1 (T1), which can provide access to Dwarka as well as Noida,” he added.

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