Auditor finds ‘questionable’ land deals in Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar Metro Rail project

The Gujarat government on Friday put on record the details of the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar Metro Rail project, where it was found by the internal auditor that land admeasuring around 20 hectares for the project was “questionable” in nature.

During the ongoing Budget session of the Gujarat Assembly, the Urban Development Department tabled the Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC) Limited’s annual report for the year 2020-21.

According to the independent auditor’s report, “It was observed that the GMRC did not have valid documents of the title deeds of a freehold land situated at Survey No. 525 at Kathwada, Vastral in Ahmedabad, admeasuring 18,000 sq mt that is around two hectares, whose market value as on March 2021 was over Rs 16.82 crore.”

Other than that, the auditor also noted that land situated at final plot No. 56 and 285 at Ahmedabad Apperal Park (SEZ), admeasuring 17.62 hectares, was allotted by the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) to the Metro company for the construction of a depot, “however the mode of transfer of this land from GIDC to the company has not been decided by the Gujarat government and according to the auditor, the land transfer is questionable”.

The Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar Metro was a dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the then Gujarat Chief Minister. The project was conceptualised initially in 2003 and it was put on a paper in 2005. After 16 years and umpteen number of route changes, the Corporation has been able to run it on only a 6 km stretch.

The 39.26 km stretch of Ahmedabad Metro Phase-1 project comprises two lines and 32 stations. It is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 10,773 crore.

GMRC is reportedly planning to commence trial lines in all sections of Line-2 by August, coinciding with 75 years of India’s Independence, and just ahead of the state elections scheduled to be held in December.

20220305-000605

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