The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) will float within a week fresh tenders for Aqua Line’s Greater Noida corridor, which will branch out from Sector 51 to Knowledge Park 5. Work on this extension is expected to start sooner than two other arms of Aqua Line because the detailed project report has already been approved by the cabinet.
Once ready, this 15km extension will link the Greater Noida sectors with Delhi Metro’s Blue Line and improve connectivity with the Capital. Of the total nine stations on the route, five will be built in the first phase by 2022. This will prove to be a crucial transport link for residents living in Greater Noida, where thousands of flats are expected to be delivered by next year.
Another key Aqua Line route from Sector 142 to Botanical Garden has been finalised by the NMRC, but it is being vetted by the metro board. The route map will then be sent to the Centre for approval. The detailed project report for the third extension, Boraki to Metro Depot is being prepared by NMRC.
“Work on the Greater Noida corridor (Sector 51 to Knowledge Park V) will start first because its plan has already been approved by the cabinet. Applications for fresh bids will be issued within a week,” said Ritu Maheshwari, the NMRC managing director. The need for fresh bids for the Greater Noida route was necessitated as the previous tendering process had to be cancelled after one of the three companies that had shown interest had to be disqualified because of lack of expertise in the field.
In June, three companies had responded to applications for building the first phase of the route. They were Sam India Builtwell Ltd, NCC Ltd and Shrisay Infotech. Of them, Shrisay had to be ruled out for lack of expertise. “We have to float fresh tenders as the earlier one left us with only two respondents,” Maheshwari had said earlier.
Knowledge Park, the last station on the route, has a number of educational institutes and once the entire stretch is built, it will benefit a number of students who now have to depend on other modes of transport like auto-rickshaws and cabs to reach the nearest Aqua Line station.
The Greater Noida corridor will be built in two phases — the first one will be 9.6km long from Sector 51 to Greater Noida 2. It will have five stations — sectors 122, 123, Greater Noida sectors 2, 4 and Ecotech 12 — and is estimated to cost Rs 430 crore. All these stations will be on an elevated platform and are expected to be built by 2022.
The second phase will have four stations — Greater Noida sectors 3, 10 and 12, and Knowledge Park 5. Aqua Line currently has no interface with Delhi Metro, affecting both its viability and ridership. The need for such a connector has often been voiced by Greater Noida residents, who need to travel to the Capital regularly for work and have to depend on road transport to commute.