ISBT, Metro, RRTS, passenger mover in Aerocity hub vision | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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ISBT, Metro, RRTS, passenger mover in Aerocity hub vision

Dec 21, 2023 01:00 AM IST

The proposed transport hub is roughly planned in the Aerocity area, where DIAL has rights to over 250acres of land

The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which operates the Capital’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport, and has land lease rights to the nearby Aerocity area, on Wednesday unveiled its vision of developing a transport hub integrating interstate bus services, the Delhi Metro’s existing and upcoming lines, a Regional Rapid Transit System, and an automated inter-terminal transport system around the Aerocity area.

The Delhi Aerocity — a commercial hub developed by GMR — is around 4km from terminals 2 and 3 and currently houses multiple hotels, retail stores, and food and beverage outlets. (HT Archive)
The Delhi Aerocity — a commercial hub developed by GMR — is around 4km from terminals 2 and 3 and currently houses multiple hotels, retail stores, and food and beverage outlets. (HT Archive)

Read here: 2 Aerocity flyovers to help connectivity in Delhi-NCR

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The Delhi airport is India’s busiest – it handled over 65 million passengers in the 2022-23 financial year — and is the most connected international airport in the country, also serving people who come from or go to other cities. It is also in the process of significantly expanding capacity and operations.

The proposed transport hub is roughly planned in the Aerocity area, where DIAL has rights to over 250acres of land. No additional land will have to be acquired, said a DIAL official.

DIAL described the new plan as a “multi-modal transport hub”, with four components — an interstate bus terminal (ISBT), a Delhi Metro interchange, a proposed Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS), and a planned passenger transport centre (PTC) with APMs, which are likely to be driverless trams similar to what many large airports in other countries have.

The ISBT will be developed in consultation with the Delhi transport department, DIAL’s proposal said.

“The proposed airport ISBT will have state-of-the-art passenger amenities, matching the airport standards. It will have the best possible user facilities like retail, food and beverage outlets, EV charging facilities, transit facilities, comfortable waiting areas, business centre, Wi-Fi services, and souvenir shops, among other things,” a DIAL spokesperson said, adding that there was no dedicated facility yet to park interstate buses at the airport.

“At present, after disembarking at the airport, many travellers board a bus from the ISBTs at Kashmere Gate or Anand Vihar or take trains to reach their destinations in nearby states. This system will provide connectivity from the airport itself,” said the spokesperson, adding that it will be able to handle as many as 50 buses.

Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot said they were studying the ISBT project’s plan,

“We have recently received a proposal from DIAL and it is being examined further,” he said. The Delhi Aerocity — a commercial hub developed by GMR — is around 4km from terminals 2 and 3 and currently houses multiple hotels, retail stores, and food and beverage outlets. DIAL is a GMR Airport Infrastructure Limited-led consortium.

The other major transport line that will be incorporated is the upcoming Silver line station of the Delhi Metro, which already has one station that is on the Airport Express line. The other connections include a possible RRTS station, and the inter-terminal passenger services via APMs.

The proposed RRTS station will likely be constructed by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), although no RRTS projects underway at present include an expansion to the IGI Airport. The new Silver line station, which will connect Aerocity to Tughalakabad, is already under construction by the DMRC.

“The APM and the PTC are still in the proposal stage and their modalities are yet to be finalised,” said asecond DIAL official.

A passenger transport centre (PTC) will be built adjacent to the ISBT and will have passengers using other modes of transport, including autos and cabs, to alight and board an airport bus to different terminals. Alternately, they can use the APM.

Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, the chief executive of DIAL, said such a multimodal hub will be a transformative project that will redefine passenger convenience and offer enhanced facilities.

“It will offer an unparalleled passenger experience that begins before you even reach the airport. By prioritising bus travellers and their needs, DIAL is creating a truly inclusive transportation ecosystem. More than just a transportation hub, this project represents our commitment to sustainable development and reduced traffic congestion,” he said.

To be sure, most of the proposals put forward by DIAL, except the Delhi Metro line already being built, will need to be cleared by authorities. DIAL is already in talks with the NCRTC. It said that other government departments that may be involved will be assessed in due time.

Read here: Delhi Metro to pay 15 lakh to kin of woman who died on Inderlok station

Experts said that the project was promising on paper but would require thorough planning to seamlessly merge the different modes of transport.

“We see such hubs in different European cities and it is common in the US too. This can help people move from one mode of transport to another fairly easily. We also need to ensure we don’t just build the infrastructure alone but also make them co-exist, as we have seen in the case of Anand Vihar, where, despite having the Metro, a railway station and an ISBT, there is poor connectivity between the three,” said Amit Bhatt, managing director (India), International Council on Clean Transportation.

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