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Construction work on the Ahmedabad Metro rail project in Gujarat has commenced within three months of the project being sanctioned by the central government.

The Rs.10,773-crore project was sanctioned in November 2014 and work began in February this year. The project envisages 37.66 km of metro rail with an elevated portion of 31.43 km and underground portion of 6.33 km.

MEGA (Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad) Company Ltd, the special purpose vehicle formed to execute the project, started work on a 6-km viaduct between Vastaral Gaam and Apparel Park.

The Ahmedabad Metro project will have an east-west corridor of 20.53 km between Thatlej Gaam and Vastrapur Gaam including the underground portion and a fully elevated north-south corridor of 17.23 km between APMC and Motera Stadium. There will be a total of 32 stations.

During a recent review of progress of metro rail projects being jointly implemented by the central and state governments, the CMD of MEGA informed that design consultants for the metro stations and other work components were being appointed and that the underground section would be completed within 27 months.

Madhusudhan Prasad, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, asked the developers of the six metros currently being implemented on a 50:50 basis to ensure that there were no time and cost overruns. He said that infrastructure projects were top priority for the government and they were being monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Kochi Metro
The CMD of Kochi Metro spoke about the Smart Card-based automatic fare collection system which would result in substantial savings in capital expenditure besides bringing additional revenue to the metro. An Axis Bank-led consortium, which has been selected through international competitive bidding, will introduce smart cards that can be used to pay metro fares as well as for other commercial merchandise at various market outlets. Kochi Metro will be paid a royalty of Rs.209 crore over a 10-year period besides 0.2 per cent of transaction value on card transactions for non-metro fare purposes. Through this initiative, Kochi Metro stands to save Rs.270 crore on capex on introducing AFC systems, besides expenditure on annual maintenance for 10 years.

Kochi Metro informed that 51 per cent work on the project had been completed on Reach I from Aluva to Maharajas and 17 per cent of work on Reach II between Maharajas and Petta. Financial progress has been reported to be 34 per cent.

Bengaluru Metro
Bengaluru Metro reported physical and financial progress of about 92 per cent. The entire network of 42.30 km in phase-I is expected to be completed by December this year. Of this, 38.30 km would be operational for public service and the balance 4 km would be ready for testing and commissioning. The metro has a north-south corridor of 24.20 km between Puttenahalli and Nagasandra and an east-west corridor of 18.10 km between Mysore Road and Baiyyappanahalli. Three Reaches with a total length of 17 km with 16 stations have so far been commissioned.

Chennai Metro
With regard to Chennai Metro, stage-I comprising seven stations and a viaduct of 10 km is set for revenue operations. Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety inspected the rolling stock for this stage in the first week of April. Out of the 42 train sets required, nine from Brazil and 12 from Sri City, Chittor, Andhra Pradesh, have been received. Work on the other four stages is in progress.

Nagpur Metro
Nagpur Metro in Maharashtra has reported completion of demarcation of alignment on Airport –MIHAN, Automative Square to Zero Mile, and Prajapatinagar-Dosar Vaisya Chowk sections amounting to 55 per cent of total alignment. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has been appointed as consultant for preparing bid document, appointment of a general consultant and preparing the design basis report. RITES has been tasked with preparing the bid document and bid process management and appointing the execution agency for the priority section between Airport and MIHAN as well as the bid document for appointment of a detailed design consultant and for construction of the viaduct between Airport and Sitaburdi.

DMRC reported 70 per cent progress in civil works and overall physical progress of 57 per cent in respect of phase-III of the project. Financial progress stands at 40 per cent. This phase is scheduled for completion between May 2015 and December 2016.

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