Ghaziabad, India (Metro Rail Today): The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) is intensifying efforts to realize metro train extensions, particularly the connection between Noida's Sector-62 Blue Line network and Sahibabad. This move is aimed at facilitating connectivity to the upcoming Regional Rapid Transit System project, which has been marred by delays and funding challenges. Local residents have been advocating for this crucial project for more than three years and are now seeking swift action before the next election.
For the past three years, the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has been exploring metro train extensions. Recently, it requested the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to update a detailed project report (DPR) submitted in January 2020, according to officials familiar with the situation.
The DPR was intended to connect Noida's Sector-62 Blue Line network to Ghaziabad's Sahibabad.
Officials from the GDA held discussions with DMRC representatives, urging them to revise the DPR. In January 2020, DMRC submitted a project report to the GDA, 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.
Since 2019, the authority has been deliberating on metro extensions.
Manvendra Singh, Chief Engineer of the GDA, stated, "The GDA has asked DMRC to revise the project report of the Sector 62 to Sahibabad metro route. They are expected to submit the updated DPR in a month. Considering the upcoming Regional Rapid Transit System project, the GDA has prioritized the Sector 62 to Sahibabad route. At Sahibabad, metro commuters will have connectivity to the Sahibabad RRTS station for interchange."
Ghaziabad currently has two metro links: Anand Vihar to Vaishali on the Blue Line and Dilshad Garden to New Bus Adda on the Red Line.
According to GDA officials, commuters traveling from Ghaziabad city to Anand Vihar will board the RapidX trains from New Bus Adda, part of the RRTS project. Those heading to Noida will also take the RapidX train from New Bus Adda and then transfer to the metro at Sahibabad.
Due to concerns that connecting Mohan Nagar to Vaishali via metro might impact RRTS ridership, the GDA is reconsidering the Sector 62 to Sahibabad link.
Furthermore, the GDA is grappling with unresolved funding issues. In January, the state government denied funding requested by the GDA. Later in May, state officials rejected the authority's request for 50% state funding for the two proposed metro extensions.
In response to these challenges, the GDA has explored various commuting alternatives, including ropeway connections, Metrolite (a light rail urban transit system for cities with lower ridership), and Metro Neo (a low-cost mass rapid transit system for tier 2 and tier 3 cities). In June, the GDA also considered a tentative plan for a 5.83 km link from Sector 62 to Vaishali but ultimately abandoned the idea.
"Funding issues persist, and we may consider obtaining loans from external sources to initiate the project," added Singh.
Meanwhile, residents in the trans-Hindon region have been advocating for this project for over three years, engaging with district, state, and central-level officials.