The ambitious corridor promises to reduce the travel time to just 55 minutes between Delhi and Meerut. According to the Delhi government, the construction of the station would delay the redevelopment project of the existing Sarai Kale Khan inter-state bus terminal (ISBT) by over a period of two years. An HT report stated that the proposed Sarai Kale Khan station was meant to be the starting point of the 82-km-long RRTS line from the national capital side, but State Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on September 12, returned the file saying that the government will only agree to the previous NCRTC plan in which the proposed station was designed to be underground.
The minister was quoted in the report claiming that while changing the station’s design, the NCRTC has not kept the Delhi government in loop. He further stated that at least 11 approvals, including those from the Delhi Development Authority, Archaeological Survey of India, Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC), UTTIPEC, forest, environment and fire departments, have already been taken for the ISBT project and now tenders have to be floated to start work. If they (Delhi government) allow the corporation to go ahead, then the ISBT project would be delayed as all approvals will have to be taken afresh, which will take a lot of time, Gahlot added.
The Sarai Kale Khan ISBT, at present, sees a daily average footfall of 57,000 passengers. As per the initial detailed project report by NCRTC, the proposed underground station conformed with the multi-modal integration plan of the ISBT. After the redevelopment, it was estimated that the multi-modal hub would handle 97,000 passengers on a daily basis as it would connect the ISBT with the upcoming Delhi-Meerut RRTS, the Nizamuddin railway station, the Nizamuddin metro station under Delhi Metro’s Pink Line as well as the bus stand. However, the corporation said that it is yet to receive any such communication from the Delhi government.