‘NMRC will build a 29-km link from Noida City Cen­tre’

The new rail cor­po­ra­tion pro­posed for han­dling the Metro net­work in Noida will start func­tion­ing by the end of 2013, Noida Au­thor­ity CEO Rama Ra­man tells Van­dana Ram­nani

HT Estates - - Front Page -

Rama Ra­man is the CEO and chair­man of Noida au­thor­ity. When asked if he’s from south In­dia, his re­sponse is that he be­longs to Bi­har, Ra­man is his first name and that he grad­u­ated in elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing from Ba­naras Hindu Univer­sity. An IAS of­fi­cer of the 1987 batch, he has been dis­trict mag­is­trate (DM) of Mirza­pur, Prat­ap­garh, Bareilly, Go­rakh­pur and Meerut. Ra­man was on dep­u­ta­tion at the Cen­tre be­fore he joined the Greater Noida au­thor­ity in 2010 and is now head­ing both the Noida and Greater Noida au­thor­i­ties.

On how he man­ages a work­life bal­ance, Ra­man tells us that he med­i­tates in the morn­ing and that is what keeps him go­ing through the day. Here he talks to HT Es­tates on is­sues that im­pact Noida west, for­merly known as Noida Ex­ten­sion. Noida Ex­ten­sion in Greater Noida was founded to pro­vide af­ford­able hous­ing units. Fol­low­ing the land ac­qui­si­tion con­tro­versy, does it still re­main af­ford­able, does the premise of af­ford­able hous­ing still hold as prices shoot up? Do hous­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in Noida west still ex­ist? Noida Ex­ten­sion was cre­ated to pro­vide af­ford­able hous­ing op­tions to home­buy­ers. And work was ini­tially done in that di­rec­tion. The idea was to give home­buy­ers op­tions in the R15 lakh to R20 lakh range. Fol­low­ing court or­ders (over the land ac­qui­si­tion is­sue), work re­mained stalled for over a year and we were or­dered to pay 64% ex­tra com­pen­sa­tion to the farmer and that load fell on the builder. This led to an in­crease in plot prices, but by then the cost of con­struc­tion had also in­creased and banks, too, had stopped fund­ing the projects. The wheels of a run­ning ve­hi­cle came to a halt. But now work has started and projects will be com­pleted. The au­thor­ity has plans to in­crease the FAR (floor area ra­tio) from the ex­ist­ing 2.75 to 3.5. This will lead to an in­crease in the num­ber of units com­ing up in Noida west. Have the au­thor­ity and the de­vel­op­ers made pro­vi­sions for ad­di­tional in­fra­struc­ture that may be re­quired to sup­port a big­ger pop­u­la­tion? The pop­u­la­tion en­vis­aged un­der the present FAR pro­vi­sion of 2.75 is 13.60 lakh and in case we in­crease the FAR to 3.5, the pop­u­la­tion will rise to 17.40 lakh. We have al­ready made pro­vi­sions for ad­di­tional in­fra­struc­ture. We agree that there would be ad­di­tional load on wa­ter sup­ply so wa­ter will be pro­vided from the Ganges river and through tube­wells. We have also taken into ac­count the num­ber of sub sta­tions that will be re­quired to meet the de­mand and have ear­marked ar­eas where they will come up to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity. The in­creased road width, BRT cor­ri­dors and Metro cor­ri­dors have also been looked into to al­low for a planned in­fra­struc­ture for the ad­di­tional pop­u­la­tion. What about Metro con­nec­tiv­ity to Noida Ex­ten­sion? The de­tailed pro­ject re­port for Noida and Greater Noida (till Pari Chowk) has al­ready been sent to the UP govern­ment. Af­ter its ap­proval it will be sent to the Cen­tral govern­ment. We have also pro­posed a Noida Metro Rail Com­pany (NMRC) to ex­pe­dite the Metro net­work in Noida and Greater Noida. An ini­tial cor­pus of R1000 crore will be al­lo­cated as pri­mary cap­i­tal for the com­pany. A spe­cial pur­pose ve­hi­cle be­tween Noida and Greater Noida will be set up for un­der­tak­ing the con­struc­tion of the pro­posed Metro rail projects. We are first push­ing the Pari Chowk con­nec­tion, the Noida Ex­ten­sion line is also un­der con­sid­er­a­tion. In prin­ci­ple, it has been de­cided that the Metro con­nec­tor in Greater Noida will be in a loop. The pro­posed 29-km link con­nect­ing Noida City Cen­tre to Greater Noida will be con­structed and op­er­ated by the yet-to-be formed NMRC, which is likely to start func­tion­ing by the end of the year. The state cabi­net is likely to give a go-ahead to the for­ma­tion of NMRC in the next 15 days fol­low­ing which we will seek the cen­tre’s ap­proval. Will the land in Shaberi vil­lage be ac­quired again? We will reac­quire land in the Shaberi area. We have al­ready started the ac­qui­si­tion process. Un­der our plan­ning con­cept we can­not leave be­hind is­lands of land. If we do that, there will be no con­ti­nu­ity when we lay the sewage and road lines. There will not be con­ti­nu­ity in land de­vel­op­ment. There­fore, to main­tain this con­ti­nu­ity and en­sure that land grab­bers do not de­velop ur­ban slums in the area, we will have to reac­quire land in Shaberi. Has the en­vi­ron­ment been im­pacted in Noida Ex­ten­sion due to largescale con­struc­tion? Wildlife has not been af­fected. As far as the wa­ter ta­ble is con­cerned, we have al­ways in­sisted on wa­ter har­vest­ing prac­tices and also rec­om­mended that a 100m green belt is cre­ated. We are de­vel­op­ing a green buf­fer, a thick for­est along the Hin­don river in the area. The sur­vey has al­ready started but ac­qui­si­tion of land for the green buf­fer is yet to be­gin. We have al­ready lined up a con­sul­tant to do a pro­ject re­port on the is­sue. What are the au­thor­ity’s plans to aug­ment trans­port fa­cil­i­ties in the area? We plan set­ting up a com­pany to run a bus ser­vice in Noida and Greater Noida. It will hire pri­vate trans­porters to run the ser­vice. The board has given its ap­proval and we have sent the pro­posal to the govern­ment. R100 crore have been au­tho­rised as cap­i­tal for the city bus ser­vice.

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