"Efﬁcient planning, pioneering design and adoption of latest technology will add to a more convenient and comfortable journey for the passengers, ensure optimum energy and operational costs hence keeping operational costs at minimum. The project will also generate various revenue opportunities for the project & state government and bring about development around it."
Sanjay Gupta, Chairman, MEGA shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about MEGA, ﬁner points of Ahmedabad - Gandhinagar Metro rail project, number of phases planned, project funding, land acquisition issues, core competencies, team composition, tendering details and project beneﬁts. Edited Excerpts…
Could you tell us about the corporate objectives and stakeholders of Metrolink Express for Gandhinagar & Ahmedabad (MEGA)?
Ahmedabad - Gandhinagar Metro rail project is being promoted with the objective of providing safe, fast and eco-friendly transportation services to the public at affordable rates while simultaneously reducing the congestion on the roads. The metro rail project will promote integration with AMTS, BRTS, Railways and other modes of public transit system.
The project aims to be a model project not only for the state of Gujarat, but also for the entire nation. MEGA is committed to deliver most cost efﬁcient metro within the shortest time span possible in the country. Presently, there is only one shareholder in the MEGA, which is the state government of Gujarat as far as Stake holders are concerned there are many including general public of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, suppliers etc.
What are the activities/stages planned by MEGA to implement Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar metro line?
MEGA is entrusted with the responsibility of planning, implementation, operation and maintenance of the Metro project. The entire project would be completed in totality. However, for construction convenience and efﬁcient management the project would be completed in 2 phases.
How about funding of this project? Whether international ﬁnancial institutions are involved in this project?
The total cost of the project is Rs 16, 579 Cr (as per June 2012 estimates). The project has been undertaken as one single project. The project is being developed on an EPC model with the funding comprising a mix of debt and equity. The equity component of 50% will come in from the state government and land development; while the remaining 50% would be raised from loan debt. A total of Rs 16,579 crore has been approved by the state government as expenditure for the project and Rs 500 crore has been sanctioned for FY 2012-13. MEGA has received Rs550 crore so far.
Presently, there are no international institutions involved in funding of this project as international funding requires sovereign guarantee of the government of India. This is a comprehensive process which is time consuming. The project has the option of applying for such a guarantee to open avenues for international investors.
Generally in all such projects, land acquisition is a major bottleneck, what’s the status on this aspect?
The project layout, planning and design ensure optimum utilization of urban space. This has enabled minimum land acquisitions from private and public sector. Hence, MEGA was able to effectively avoid delays and bottlenecks.
Could you share information about the team at MEGA? What kind of similar project experience do they bring on board?
A total of 120 executives which includes people from various competencies such as Urban Development, Trafﬁc systems, research and analysis, telecommunications etc. are working together to achieve a single goal of completing this project in the most efﬁcient manner in the least possible time.
MEGA has also availed services of various experts and consultants, which include renowned international consultants who have worked on world class projects. This is also important to develop in house technical capabilities.
Have you come out with tenders for civil works, metro coaches? If not? When is it expected?
As of now, Twelve EOI’s of all major activities including for part civil works coaches have been ﬂoated which has attracted the interest of major international companies. Four RFP’s have also been ﬂoated including Civil and Coaches.
Could you throw some light on the project beneﬁts once the metro line is commissioned?
Efﬁcient planning, pioneering design and adoption of latest technology will add to a more convenient and comfortable journey for the passengers, ensure optimum energy and operational costs hence keeping operational costs at minimum.
The project will also generate various revenue opportunities for the project & state government and bring about development around it.
Currently the region of Gandhinagar- Ahmedabad has a very low share of public transport (only 24% of trips are made through public transport).
The region is also envisaging a rapid growth in private vehicle which is almost 3 times more than the decadal population growth.
With the development of Metro Rail project, the share in public transport shall increase to 38% in the initial years and by the end of year 2041 at least 65% of the total trips will be made by public transport. This will help in the following aspects:
• Saving in consumption of fuels
• Saving in time
• Reduction in congestion on roads
• Reduction in the overall greenhouse gas emission etc
Further apart from the increase in the share of public transport, it will also boost the economic development in the region.
• Ahmedabad Gandhinagar Metro rail
• Length: 76 KM
• Estimated Cost: Rs 16, 579 Crore
• Funding through mix of debt and equity
• Minimum land acquisition
• Encourage Public Transport