The 11.5km section will branch out from the existing Sector 142 station on the expressway and run straight to Botanical Garden, where it will have an interchange with the Blue and Magenta lines.
The line will significantly cut travel time between Greater Noida and the Noida Expressway sectors and Delhi because the Aqua Line currently takes a detour and terminates at Sector 51 where passengers have to get off and walk to the Blue Line to catch another metro to Botanical Garden.
The new line will also ease travel to IGI’s domestic airport for residents of Greater Noida and the expressway sectors because they can travel between their home station and the airport without having to leave the metro system and by changing trains just once (Magenta, at Botanical).
Aqua Line currently has no interface with Delhi Metro, affecting both its viability and ridership, which is why the need for this line was felt so strongly. The detailed project report (DPR), which the NMRC has finalized, will now be vetted by its board before being sent to the Centre for approval.
According to the DPR, the new Aqua Line section will be built on standard gauge with 11 elevated stations, including one at Botanical Garden. The targeted completion year is 2023. “The stations that are going to come up on this stretch will provide ample proximity to local residential hubs apart from bridging the gap with the Blue Line,” an NMRC official said.
Other than Botanical Garden, the other stations will be Sector 94, Sector 125, Sector 126, Sector 97, Sector 127, Sector 98, Sector 93, Sector 91, Sector 136, and Sector 142.
NMRC has two more extensions of the Aqua Line in the pipeline — from Sector 51 to Knowledge Park and from Depot to Bodaki in Greater Noida. These two lines are crucial to Noida’s urban expansion as well because they will cater to housing hubs like Greater Noida West, whose population will grow manifold over the next few years as developers hand over thousands of pending flats.
Tenders are likely to be floated for the construction of the Botanical Garden arm once the Centre gives clearance. NMRC had recently floated tenders for the construction of the Sector 51-Knowledge Park section but cancelled the tenders due to lack of adequate response. Officials said the Bodaki extensions was still being discussed and no timeline for construction has been decided.