Delhi govt re­jects el­e­vated sta­tion at Sarai Kale Khan

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Gurugram - Sweta Goswami sweta.goswami@hin­dus­tan­ ■

The am­bi­tious high­speed Delhi-Meerut Re­gional Rapid Tran­sit Sys­tem (RRTS) will miss the July 2024 dead­line as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) gov­ern­ment has of­fi­cially re­jected the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion’s (NCRTC) pro­posal to build an el­e­vated sta­tion at Sarai Kale Khan. The gov­ern­ment de­nied it on the grounds that con­struc­tion of the sta­tion would de­lay the re­de­vel­op­ment project of the ex­ist­ing Sarai Kale Khan in­ter-state bus ter­mi­nal (ISBT) by over two years.

The pro­posed sta­tion at Sarai Kale Khan was meant to be the start­ing point of the 82-km-long RRTS line from the New Delhi side. But, on Septem­ber 12, state trans­port min­is­ter Kailash Gahlot re­turned the file say­ing the Delhi gov­ern­ment will agree only to the pre­vi­ous plan of the NCRTC in which the pro­posed sta­tion was de­signed to be un­der­ground.

“The change of Sarai Kale Khan sta­tion, from un­der­ground to an el­e­vated sta­tion, is not ac­cept­able as it would se­ri­ously de­lay our re­de­vel­opemnt plan for the ISBT. This needs to be com­mu­ni­cated to the NCRTC,” the min­is­ter had writ­ten.

When con­tacted on Satur­day, Gahlot said the NCRTC had not kept the Delhi gov­ern­ment in loop while chang­ing the sta­tion’s de­sign. “At least 11 ap­provals, in­clud­ing those from the Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia, Delhi De­vel­op­ment Author­ity, UTTIPEC, Delhi Ur­ban Arts Com­mis­sion (DUAC), en­vi­ron­ment, for- est and fire de­part­ments, have al­ready been taken for the (ISBT) project. We just have to float ten­ders to start work. If we al­low the NCRTC to go ahead, then our ISBT project would be de­layed as all ap­provals will have to be taken afresh, which will take a long time,” he said.

At present, the Sarai Kale Khan ISBT wit­nesses a daily av­er­age foot­fall of 57,000 passengers. As per NCRTC’s ini­tial de­tailed project re­port, the pro­posed un­der­ground sta­tion con­formed with the multi-mo­dal in­te­gra­tion plan of the ISBT. It was es­ti­mated that af­ter the re­de­vel­op­ment, the multi-mo­dal hub would han­dle 97,000 passengers ev­ery day as it would con­nect the ISBT with the up­com­ing Del­hiMeerut RRTS, the Niza­mud­din Metro sta­tion un­der Delhi Metro’s Pink Line, the Niza­mud­din rail­way sta­tion and bus stand.

The NCRTC, how­ever, said it is yet to re­ceive any such com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the Delhi gov­ern­ment.

“We have had at least three meet­ings with the Delhi gov­ern­ment on this is­sue. One meet­ing was held by sec­re­tary of the Union min­istry of road trans­port and high­ways, an­other was chaired by Delhi chief sec­re­tary and the third was chaired by the trans­port com­mis­sioner. We had of­fered so­lu­tions and be­lieved they were ac­cepted by the Delhi gov­ern­ment,” NCRTC chief pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Sud­hir Ku­mar Sharma said.

This is the sec­ond set­back for the NCRTC with re­gard to the ₹31,902-crore Delhi-Meerut RRTS project.

In Au­gust, chief min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal had writ­ten to the Cen­tre stat­ing that the Delhi gov­ern­ment will not be able to fund the project due to “in­ad­e­quate fi­nances”, rais­ing ques­tions on the fu­ture of the am­bi­tious cor­ri­dor which prom­ises an end-toend travel time of 55 min­utes. The share of the Delhi gov­ern­ment in the ₹31,902-crore project comes to ₹1,138 crore.


■ The sta­tion at Sarai Kale Khan was meant to be the start­ing point of the 82­km­long RRTS line on the New Delhi side.

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