After axing metro plan, UP govt explores high-speed rail link between Noida & Delhi airports

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arnab mukherjee

Aug 4, 2023, 9:17:51 PM8/4/23

After axing metro plan, UP govt explores high-speed rail link between Noida & Delhi airports

New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government has dropped the plan to constructed a 72 km-long metro corridor to provide connectivity between the under-construction Noida International Airport at Jewar and IGI Airport in Delhi as it was turning out to be excessively costly and not feasible, ThePrint has learnt.

The government has asked the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), which is constructing the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor between Delhi and Meerut, to do a feasibility study to provide connectivity between the two international airports. The Noida International Airport is scheduled to start operations from 29 September, 2024.

The decision to drop the metro project was taken in a meeting in June, said Arun Vir Singh, chief executive officer of the Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA).

As per the minutes of the meeting held on June 14, the metro connectivity project between the two airports was found to be not feasible, as the financial internal rate of return/economic internal rate of return and peak hour peak direction traffic was found to be low and the project excessively costly.

Speaking to ThePrint, Arun Vir Singh said: “The cost of construction was turning out to be extremely high. It was turning out to be approximately Rs 700 crore per kilometer as a large portion of the metro corridor was proposed to be underground. The total cost would have come close to Rs 25,000 crore. NCRTC has been asked to carry out the feasibility study to provide high speed connectivity between the two airports and submit the report within three months.”

The total cost of the Jewar airport, spread over an area of 1,334 hectares near the Yamuna expressway, is around Rs 30,000 crore, according to YEIDA officials, who added that high speed connectivity options are being explored. The plan, they said, is to provide transit options so that it takes an hour or so to travel between the airports.

Puneet Vats, chief public relations officer, NCRTC said, “The work on carrying out the feasibility study for Jewar airport connectivity with IGI Airport has been initiated. It is likely to take around four months.”

Meanwhile, YEIDA is working on a number of projects to provide connectivity between the under-construction airport and neighbouring cities.

New road & rail infra projects planned

The Jewar airport is expected to serve close to 5 million people annually once operations start next year. The Uttar Pradesh and the central governments have planned road infrastructure projects to provide good road connectivity to neighbouring states such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand etc.

Shailendra Kumar Bhatia, officer on special duty at YEIDA, said, “The work to construct a 20 km long, six-lane corridor to connect the airport and Eastern Peripheral Expressway (Faridabad) has been awarded. The project will cost Rs 90 crore.”

Earlier this year, Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari had announced that a 32 km long road project will be ready by June 2025 to provide connectivity between Jewar and IGI airports. The Rs 3,000-crore-project would connect Jewar airport to the under-construction Delhi-Mumbai expressway, he had said.

Bhatia said, “The YEIDA will be constructing two road interchange facilities at Yamuna Expressway near the airport and Eastern Peripheral Expressway for smooth movement of traffic.”

In the June meeting, it was decided that two proposals would be sent to the Ministry of Railways for providing connectivity between Chola railway station in Bulandshahar (UP) to Jewar, and Palwal station in Haryana to Jewar, as per the minutes of the meeting.

Bhatia said, “While the work on the phase-I of the airport projects is moving at a fast pace, we have worked out all possible measures to provide smooth connectivity from all nearby states. We have also planned pod taxi connectivity between the airport and the industrial areas which has space for 3,000 units. The pre-bid meeting was held last month and five companies have shown interest. The 14.6 km long corridor will be constructed at a cost of Rs 641 crore.”

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