For Greater Noida residents, there is good news in the offing. Come April, 2018, the Delhi Metro will extend its services to the region, connecting it to the National Capital Region’s (NCR’s) public transport system. The 29.7-km Aqua link, as the Noida-Greater Noida line has been christened, was more than 70% complete in July this year. This figure is expected to go up to 90% by September. Being built at a cost of Rs 5,503 crore, the elevated corridor connecting Noida to Greater Noida would have 21 stations in all, of which 15 fall in Noida and the remaining 6, including the Depot station,in Greater Noida.
Alok Tandon, managing director of Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) and CEO of Noida Authority, says work on the corridor is moving at a fast pace and trials will begin by the end of this year. “Commercial operation is expected to begin in April, 2018,” he adds. To execute the project, the Noida and Greater Noida authorities on the one hand and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on the other had set up the NMRC, a special purpose vehicle, in October, 2014. The SPV is a 50:50 joint venture between the Union and Uttar Pradesh governments. DMRC, the project management consultant, is mandated to maintain Noida’s new line for a period of 3 years after its opening. While the Union Cabinet approved the release of the first tranche of Rs 1,000 crore for the line in May this year, the NMRC has approved a budget of Rs 1,600 crore for fiscal 2017-18. The project is also being provided Rs 1,587 crore by the National Capital Region Planning Board. As firsts go, the project earned a place in the Limca Book of Records when it erected 200 U-shaped girders in May 2016, a feat not achieved by any Metro project in India before. With these girders the NMRC was able to significantly expedite work on the corridor.
The corridor would be linked to the Blue Line extension through a 100-m skywalk, running between the Sector 71 station on the Greater Noida line — the first station on the corridor—and the Sector 52 station on the Blue Line. The new Metro link would go under the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and also cross the Delhi-Agra Yamuna Expressway near the Knowledge Park II metro station, which would be connected to the Greater Noida Expo Centre and Special Economic Zone through walkalators. The Greater Noida area, which is fast developing into a knowledge hub, is expected to have 3-5 lakh new residents in the coming 5-7 years. The metro link would improve the quality of life there, besides allowing the town to grow horizontally and vertically. It is also expected to provide a fillip to employment opportunities and the real estate and commercial sectors.