GURUGRAM (Metro Rail News): Major cities in the country are fast expanding their metro network, but poor urban planning and the lack of a mobility framework has held it up in Gurugram.
As a result, the city where lakhs of people come to work finds itself not only far behind Delhi in terms of metro’s reach but also Noida, which now has multiple connections with the capital and a direct line to the domestic airport.
The last time Gurugram saw an inter-city metro connection being built was in 2010 when the Yellow Line made the difficult trek across rocky Aravali terrain to Huda City Centre, taking its terminal station 15km further south from Qutub Minar.
It was a feat of engineering that bridged two cities, which would enter a phase of rapid symbiotic growth: Delhi as the political power center, Gurugram as an emerging corporate hub.
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Gurugram’s growth has, over these years, been swift, staggering even government planners, who struggled to fortify the city with the additional resources it needed even as its human capital grew organically with the local economy, turning Delhi’s satellite city into a metropolis with the country’s third-highest per capita income.
But inter-city metro connectivity remains today exactly where it was in 2010, resulting in the development of an urban ecosystem that’s highly dependent on cars and a pollution problem that the city just cannot tame. Just a year before the Yellow Line came to Gurugram, the Blue Line had in 2009 made the journey to Noida. A decade on, the Uttar Pradesh city has raced far ahead of Gurugram in metro connectivity — Noida now has 34 metro stations with multiple connections to Delhi, a link that’s at the doorstep of Ghaziabad, and a direct line to IGI airport’s domestic terminal.
Gurugram, over these years, has only seen the private Rapid Metro network of 15 stations being built. The government has strangely not expanded the metro network an inch despite two demands that residents and corporate houses have been making for years — connections to IGI airport and Dwarka. Gurugram’s total metro coverage area is a mere 20km, which is only around 3% of the city’s total area.
Yet, the previous decade has been one of the big metro push, not just in Delhi whose network now has 250 stations, but across India, with large metro networks now operational in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai and smaller ones in Kochi and Lucknow. Elsewhere in the country— in Kolkata — the metro is all set to run under a river. Across major Indian cities, metro tracks now cover 640km across 450 stations.